- CMA Fest host Thomas Rhett married his wife, Lauren Akins, in 2012.
- Famously, Thomas wrote the hit song "Die a Happy Man" for Lauren (his childhood sweetheart!) a few years later.
- Today, the couple has two daughters and a third on the way.
Last month, country music fans everywhere were overjoyed to hear that CMA Fest host Thomas Rhett and his wife of seven years, Lauren Akins, are expecting a third child early next year. This new addition is yet another exciting chapter in the couple's fairytale love story, which has inspired hit songs and taken country music red carpets by storm.
As it turns out, though, Thomas and Lauren's love story almost never happened — and if it weren't for her dad, they might not be married today at all. Here, we're taking a look back at Thomas and Lauren's relationship, and what helped them become the power couple we know and love today.
This country couple's love story goes way, way back: Thomas and Lauren actually met when they were both first graders growing up in Georgia. In the years that followed, they became close friends, and they did things like attend church camp together. They even dated for a brief period of time in high school, but it didn't feel right at the time, and they went back to being friends.
Both Thomas and Lauren went on to have different relationships (even almost marrying other people), but the feelings Thomas had for his childhood sweetheart never quite faded away. Then, one day, he confessed those feelings to Lauren's dad — and that confession ended up changing everything.
"Her dad called me and said, 'If you don't come over here tonight and tell Lauren how you feel about her, then I'm going to tell her how you feel about her,'" Thomas told CBS This Morning. "I was like, 'Well, that would be so weird.'"
Six months later, the couple was engaged.
Starting their lives together
Thomas and Lauren eventually got married in October 2012, when they were both 22 years old. They were young, and some people tried to tell them they were making a mistake — but the criticism didn't bother them at all.
"Everybody told him no, this is not what he should do," Thomas's dad, country singer Rhett Akins, once told Country Weekly. "[But] when I saw them stare at each other the entire 20 minutes they were saying their vows, it's like these two people are meant to be together. They are beyond in love."
Newlyweds Thomas and Lauren jumped right into their new lives together. The first year of their marriage, he told People, they spent 285 days on the road together, sharing a teeny tiny bed on his tour bus.
"Die a Happy Man"
One day while working on his 2015 record Tangled Up, Thomas realized he had never written a song for Lauren. He decided he wanted to change that, and ended up penning the lyrics to "Die a Happy Man." It was a special song for the couple, but it also made serious waves in the country music industry: "Die a Happy Man" went on to win multiple awards, and the track completely changed Thomas's career.
The music video, which was shot in Oahu where the couple honeymooned, also features sweet footage of Thomas and Lauren together.
Growing their family
Thomas and Lauren knew they wanted to start a family, but they were having trouble conceiving. So they started the process of adopting a baby from Africa, and decided to put any other plans on hold. Imagine their surprise when, a few months later, they found out Lauren was pregnant!
The couple ended up welcoming their first daughter, Willa Gray (now 3 years old), in May 2017. Three months later, Lauren gave birth to their second daughter, Ada James, who is now almost 2.
Adding one more
Just last month, the couple took to Instagram to announce some very exciting news: They're expecting another child! As Thomas and Lauren, now both 29, revealed in their announcement posts, their third is another daughter.
Thomas is already joking about how hectic his life is about to become, but don't think he and Lauren are going to stop growing their family after this: Thomas has also publicly said that he wants a "gigantic family," and he and his wife will definitely be expanding their brood even more in years to come.
"If we stopped having kids now, I know I'd wake up at 45 and go, 'We should have had five more,'" the country singer told ABC News Radio. "Because I really do want to be able to sit at a Thanksgiving or Christmas table with the most gigantic family on the planet."
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