Kellie Pickler honours late husband with emotional first stage performance since his death

Kellie Pickler honours late husband with emotional first stage performance since his death
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Kellie Pickler made an emotional return to the stage for the first time since the death of her husband, singer-songwriter Kyle Jacobs, last year, performing a song they had co-written.

On Monday (22 April), Pickler, 37, took the stage at a special concert in honour of Patsy Cline held at Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium.

“My husband and I actually wrote this song together, gosh over a decade ago,” she told the crowd in videos posted to social media.

“The last time I was here in the Ryman Auditorium was with him on a date night, and I know he is here with us tonight... I’ll do the best I can,” she said before launching into a powerful rendition of the title track of her 2013 album, The Woman I Am.

“Sometimes I cry at night/I fall to pieces with Patsy Cline/Man how many songs sound like that?/But that’s just the woman I am,” she sang.

This marked Pickler’s first public performance since 2019, according to Setlist.fm.

She has largely stayed out of the public eye since Jacobs died by suicide in February 2023. He was 49.

Months after Jacobs’s death, Pickler opened up for the first time to fans in a statement to People, saying: “One of the most beautiful lessons my husband taught me was in a moment of a crisis, if you don’t know what to do, ‘do nothing, just be still.’ I have chosen to heed his advice.

“Thank you to my family, friends and supporters, for the countless letters, calls and messages that you have sent my way,” she added. “It has truly touched my soul and it’s helping me get through the darkest time in my life. As many of you have told me, you are all in my prayers. I am planning an intimate memorial for my husband, which will happen later this fall, that is what Kyle would have wanted.”

The pair had been married for more than a decade after they eloped in 2011. They didn’t have any children together.

Pickler gained fame during her time as a contestant on American Idol’s fifth season, where she placed sixth. Shortly after, in 2006, she signed as a recording artist with 19 Recordings and BNA Records.

That same year, she released her debut album, Small Town Girl, followed by her self-titled album, Kellie Pickler in 2008, 100 Proof in 2012 and The Woman I Am in 2013.

If you are experiencing feelings of distress and isolation, or are struggling to cope, the Samaritans offers support; you can speak to someone for free over the phone, in confidence, on 116 123 (UK and ROI), email jo@samaritans.org, or visit the Samaritans website to find details of your nearest branch.

If you are based in the USA, and you or someone you know needs mental health assistance right now, call National Suicide Prevention Helpline on 1-800-273-TALK (8255). The Helpline is a free, confidential crisis hotline that is available to everyone 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

If you are in another country, you can go to www.befrienders.org to find a helpline near you.