Before country music star Thomas Rhett and Lauren Akins exchanged vows in 2012, his father-in-law provided him with a piece of valuable advice and gave him a fair warning.
The multi-platinum artist recently (April 4) spoke out about being a devoted husband and father on the “Making Space With Hoda Kotb” podcast. Rhett sat down with the beloved TV personality Hoda Kotb and recalled a conversation he had with Akins father at the beginning of his music career.
He mentioned that his wife’s father owned a private jet charter company in Nashville, Tennessee, and is a professional pilot. He told the “Today” co-anchor that he would fly respected country performers around in the ’90s and would frequently witness musicians become unfaithful.
“I remember before me and Lauren got married – he was like, ’you better keep your head on straight.’ You know what I mean? ’You better not do anything out there on the road, because I promise you… I have seen it. I would call you out immediately,” Rhett revealed.
At the time, the “Slow Down Summer” singer was still learning the ins and outs of the music industry. However, he assured the nervous father that he would always remain loyal.
“I was like, ’You have nothing to worry about,’” he pointed out during the intimidating conversation. “But, as I got into it…I quickly realized how easy that could be without the right boundaries put in place.”
Rhett continued to share that his wife was always glued to his side, and they quickly became a package deal – leaving him without a care in the world.
“From the (beginning) of my career, Lauren was such a part of me. We were a package deal,” he uttered during the episode. “She was at every show, and the fans knew her,” he added before mentioning a sticky situation that occurred at a concert when his wife was nowhere in sight.
“I remember my first year on the road, somebody grabbed my butt on stage. I was torn up with guilt and shame,” he shared. “I was like, ’God, how do I tell Lauren about this?’ I remember calling her right after that show and telling her the entire situation.”
He instantly created strict rules following the honest and open conversation with his wife.
“It was that night that I told my tour manager and my team, ’Hey, unless you are a sister or someone dating someone in the band, there can’t be anyone back here that we don’t know…because that is my boundary,” he declared. “I knew if I started to let this slide or that slide, that it could have gotten bad. That is something that I am so glad we implemented early early on the road because it could have been very easy for sure.”
The country crooner said his famous father, Rhett Akins encouraged him to keep his relationship with his wife on the down-low when he first stepped into the honky tonk space.
“I think at that time, it wasn’t super cool to be married and be a country singer. My dad would talk about like, ’Let’s make sure we don’t announce a lot that we are married. You can wear your wedding ring, I guess, but let’s just keep it under the radar,’” he said. “I just thought that was the stupidest thing in the world, and it was kind of weird.”
The seasoned singer-songwriter touched upon his chart-topping love song, “Die A Happy Man,” and the reason why it became a successful hit in 2015. He acknowledged that many songsmiths would pen love songs, but never about marriage or a specific someone.
“I think “Die A Happy Man” is good, but I think it was great at the time because it hasn’t been done in a while in that way,” he said about the mid-tempo track that sat at No.1 on iTunes for over 15 weeks and dominated country radio.
Since the release of “Die A Happy Man” on his second studio album “Tangled Up,” Rhett mentioned that the musical landscape has shifted.
“It’s kind of cool. There are so many people that are openly, ’I’m married’ in our genre,” he said about the current dynamic in the industry. “How many love songs can we write about that person. So, I love to watch love win,” he concluded.
While wearing his love for his wife on his sleeve, Rhett has delivered several tribute tracks since “Die A Happy Man.” For instance, “Marry Me,” “Life Changes,” “Look What God Gave Her,” and more. His vulnerable songwriting shines through on his recently released sixth studio album, “Where We Started.” The 15-piece project is out now and available to stream everywhere.