Kellie Pickler Returns To Stage For First Time Since Her Husband's Death Last Year

Kellie Pickler gave a heartfelt nod to her late husband, Kyle Jacobs, this week as she returned to the concert stage for the first time since his death last year.

The “American Idol” veteran performed at Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium Monday night as part of a tribute concert honoring country icon Patsy Cline. She appeared to be in good spirits as she introduced “The Woman I Am,” a song she and Jacobs co-wrote for her 2013 album of the same name.

“I’d be lying if I didn’t say I was not incredibly nervous right now. It’s been the first time I’ve been up on stage in a while,” Pickler told the crowd, as seen in a video posted to TikTok by Music Mayhem Magazine. “My husband and I actually wrote this song together, gosh, over a decade ago.”

Kellie Pickler performing at
Kellie Pickler performing at "Walkin' After Midnight: The Music Of Patsy Cline," on April 22 in Nashville, Tennessee. Jason Kempin via Getty Images

She went on to note: “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.”

Jacobs, 49, was found dead at the Nashville home he and Pickler shared in February of last year. An autopsy later confirmed the Grammy-nominated musician had died by suicide.

A Minnesota native, Jacobs collaborated with Kelly Clarkson, Tim McGraw and other artists, and was perhaps best known as the co-writer of Garth Brooks’ “More Than a Memory,” which in 2007 became the first song to debut at No. 1 on Billboard’s Hot Country Songs chart. He also co-wrote “American Idol” finalist Kimberly Locke’s 2004 hit, “8th World Wonder.”

Kyle Jacobs died in February 2023 at age 49.
Kyle Jacobs died in February 2023 at age 49. Daniel Zuchnik via Getty Images

He and Pickler were married in 2011. The couple later co-starred on the CMT reality series, “I Love Kellie Pickler.”

Pickler broke her silence on Jacobs’ death in August.

“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,’” she told The Tennessean in a statement at the time. “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.”

Watch an E! News report on Kellie Pickler’s April 22 performance below. 

If you or someone you know needs help, call or text 988 or chat for mental health support. Additionally, you can find local mental health and crisis resources at Outside of the U.S., please visit the International Association for Suicide Prevention.