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Update, August 27, 2021:
Over a year after divorcing Ruston Kelly, Kacey Musgraves has a new man in her life, and his name is Cole Schafer. According to People, Kacey and Cole met at a crowded restaurant after they "locked eyes" from across the room. What's more, Cole had no idea who Kacey was, which the singer "loved." See a picture of the two together below:
Now, Kacey is about to release her fourth studio album called Star-Crossed on September 10. It's believed that the album is inspired after Kacey and Ruston's divorce, though she did begin writing the album before their split. The album is structured like a three-act tragedy.
Update, July 3, 2020:
On July 3, Kacey Musgraves and her husband, singer-songwriter Ruston Kelly, announced their divorce after nearly three years of marriage.
“With heavy but hopeful hearts we wanted to put our own thoughts into the air about what’s happening. These kinds of announcements are always met with scrutiny and speculation and we want to stop that before it even starts. We believe that we were put into each other’s lives for a divine reason and have both changed each other infinitely for the better. The love we have for each other goes far beyond the relationship we’ve shared as husband and wife. It’s a soul connection that can never be erased,” an email read, according to the Associated Press.
The email continued: “We’ve made this painful decision together — a healthy decision that comes after a very long period of trying the best we can. It simply just didn’t work. Though we are parting ways in marriage, we will remain true friends for the rest of our lives. We hold no blame, anger, or contempt for each other and we ask for privacy and positive wishes for us both as we learn how to navigate through this."
Original, April 18, 2020:
Originally from Golden, Texas, Kacey redefined the country music scene by being her unapologetic self. Her 2013 album Same Trailer Different Park first earned her praise, but it wasn’t until she met Ruston that she began writing love songs.
Dressed in red, Kacey won award after award at the 2019 Grammys — a total of four — with Golden Hour named Album of the Year and Best Country Album. Since its release, she’s never forgotten to thank him for inspiring hits like “Rainbow” and “Butterflies.” And it seems fitting enough, because their love story began with Kacey hearing him sing.
In March 2016, Kacey had just begun working on her fourth studio album when she decided to go to the Bluebird Café in Nashville, Tennessee. The East Texas native later explained that this was unlike her because “it’s so touristy” but went anyway to support a friend who was participating in a writers’ round.
As musicians took turns playing their songs, Kacey heard a voice belting lyrics that reminded her of her favorite artist, the legendary country star John Prine. “Ruston played his first song, and I was just stunned by everything in it,” she told HITS Daily Double. “The words, the melody, what he was saying. I was just sitting at this table, crying.”
She continued: “When it was over, I went up and introduced myself. I said, ‘Hey, I don’t really ever do this, but here’s my number; I really wanna write with you.' … A few months went by, and we were supposed to write on May 11. I almost canceled. I just didn’t wanna go through trying to write with someone I didn’t really know.”
But Ruston was left in awe by her. “I thought, ‘This is the most beautiful woman I’ve ever seen,’” he told Texas Monthly. The South Carolina native was also accomplished in his own right. As part of a publishing deal with BMG Nashville, he penned “Nashville Without You” for Tim McGraw.
Thankfully, Kacey didn’t cancel their writing date. She compared the moment Ruston walked into her home to when Dorothy walked into a world of color in The Wizard of Oz. “We didn’t even write a song. We just talked, and talked, and talked,” she said. “He didn’t leave until like 3 a.m. It was the easiest, most natural thing in the world — and I didn’t want it to stop.”
"We were pretty inseparable from then on," Ruston told Martha Stewart Weddings.
Soon after, she wrote “Oh, What A World,” and before the year was over, Ruston proposed to Kacey on Christmas Eve 2016. He surprised her by decorating her childhood bedroom with vintage decorations and played Henry Mancini’s “Two for the Road.” Kacey later revealed that she designed her own engagement ring.
"Didn't say yes...I said HELL YESSSS!!” she captioned the now-deleted Instagram post. “Last night, the best man I've ever met got down on one knee in my little pink childhood home...in the same room I played with my ponies and barbies and asked me the easiest question I've ever been asked. ❤ I finally know what everyone means when they say 'you just know.'"
On July 15, 2017, Kacey celebrated her bachelorette party at Dolly Parton’s Dollywood. The bride-to-be spent the weekend watching fireworks, riding roller coasters, and wearing custom-made t-shirts and fanny packs.
In the fall, on October 14, 2017, Kacey and Ruston officially tied the knot. The couple exchanged their vows in front of 200 guests on a Tennessee farm, where two small rivers flow together. Afterwards, everyone enjoyed cocktails and popcorn in a barn before having wood-fired pizza at an outdoor dinner.
“I married my best friend … barefoot and surrounded by the deepest kind of magic and love that exists. I’ve never felt so tranquil and happy,” she wrote on Instagram. “We made our promises to each other under the trees and then drank and danced into the night. We couldn’t have done any of it without the help of our wonderful families and amazing friends. The best kind of magic. Best day of my life.”
One year later, Kacey released Golden Hour in the spring of 2018, inspired after their love. And shortly after, Ruston followed suit with his debut album, Dying Star, which came to be after he experienced a drug overdose in 2015. The songwriter credits Kacey for helping him find peace and strength. Most recently, in August, Ruston released his second studio album Shape & Destroy, in which Kacey sang background vocals.
"She was such a strong redemptive force in my life,” he told Rolling Stone. “I didn't think I was worthy of anything. She reminded me that it doesn't matter, that everyone has a past. Someone has to help pick you up somehow.”
And Kacey says she wouldn’t be where she is today without him. “Everything was right,” she told Glamour. “After meeting this person who really allows me to just be myself, not have to walk on eggshells for any reason, songs started pouring out.”
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