There’s been quite a lot of talk about country superstar Miranda Lambert’s love life lately. Even her ex-husband, Blake Shelton — who’s happily paired off with pop star Gwen Stefani — is seemingly getting in on the gossip.
Given all this, it might be difficult to remember back to a pre-2015 period when Lambert and Shelton were Nashville royalty as country music’s most adorable couple. Their marriage was short — only four years — and nobody save themselves knows for sure what went wrong.
To prove just how lovable and magnetic the two were — and how shocking their split was back when it was first announced — here’s a look back at the famous duo’s most shining moments as lovebirds and partners.
2005: The duo met for the first time performing “You’re the Reason God Made Oklahoma” onstage during the CMT 100 Greatest Duets concert. Despite their unfamiliarity with each other, it’s easy to see the sparks fly between them.
Shelton, who was married at the time, noted the discomfort and electricity of the moment during an interview with VH1’s Behind the Music: “I was a married guy, you know? Looking back on that, I was falling in love with her, right onstage.” Both have maintained that the relationship didn’t technically start until Shelton’s divorce was finalized.
2010: “Well, ol’ Blake finally got a brain!” Lambert tweeted, with a picture showing off her five-carat engagement ring. The couple would marry one year later in Lambert’s home state of Texas, throwing a moonshine-soaked, “junk gypsy” affair (details here) with the bride sporting cowboy boots and her mother’s wedding gown.
They celebrated their honeymoon in the same rustic way, choosing a staycation at their Oklahoma ranch for three days, then finishing it off with several days in Cancun at Reba McEntire’s vacation home (McEntire’s ex-husband is Shelton’s manager).
2011: Shelton and Lambert seal their marriage — and their positions as country’s hottest couple — by winning dual Male Vocalist and Female Vocalist of the Year trophies at the Country Music Association Awards in November. This was the second time the couple achieved this feat together, though their first as a married duo. (They repeated the wins the following year as well).
2012: Lambert releases the single “Over You” from her fourth album, Four the Record. The moody ballad is revealed to be a joint composition by herself and Shelton, and is about Shelton’s experience of losing his older brother in a car accident. Although the story was Shelton’s, Lambert recorded the song. Shelton felt unable to perform it himself because of the emotion behind it.
The pair did perform the song together in 2013 on The Voice, as a tribute to victims of the Oklahoma tornado tragedy. Lambert would, four years later and post-divorce, memorably break down on stage at an Illinois concert while attempting to deliver the song.
2012: The couple appear before a televised audience of millions performing “America the Beautiful” to open Super Bowl XLVI in Indiana. Lambert, amusingly, sings into a pink microphone.
2014: By this point in time, Shelton and Lambert had racked up dozens of appearances at awards shows. But at this year’s annual Academy of Country Music Awards, Lambert attracted considerable attention for a recent weight loss, which she showed off in a slinky gown.
Shelton, who was co-hosting the event with Luke Bryan, gave a playful introduction to her performance of “Automatic.” “This next performer and I have a lot in common. … We share the same taste in songwriting, the same nomination for Entertainer of the Year, and the same bed. So you know I’m not talking about Luke,” he deadpanned.
Lambert spoke glowingly of her husband’s support for her health goals. “I asked Blake, ‘Dude, why didn’t you tell me I got fat?'” she related. “He said, ‘That would go over like a lead balloon. It’s not my job to tell you you’re fat. It’s my job to tell you you’re beautiful.'”
2015: Shelton joined Lambert onstage in March in Wichita, Kan., to delight fans with a magnetic, even steamy, duet version of “God Gave Me You.” A few months later, their divorce is announced.
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