It was a New Year's Eve concert in 1990 that would ultimately change everything for Lisa Hartman Black and Clint Black. Black was performing in his native city of Houston, Texas, which was his first big show following the release of the record that made him a country music star, Killin' Time. He was introduced to Hartman backstage by his manager following the show.
"I didn't have anything else to do, so I thought, why not go see him?" she told People. "I was really knocked out."
According to Country Living, Black immediately saw something special in her.
"Anyone would be taken by her looks but she was a really, really pleasant person and I didn't know her from Eve. I'd never seen her movies. All I knew was that she was a TV actress," he said. The couple married in 1991 and have been together ever since.
Hartman had starred in the brief Bewitched spin-off Tabitha and starred as Neely O'Hara in Valley of the Dolls. She also appeared in the 1984 film, Where the Boys Are and starred in the role of Ciji Dunne on the CBS show Knots Landing. When her character was killed off the show, fans went crazy, so she was brought back as new character Cathy Geary Rush.
Though Hartman was a singer herself, they had to work as a team to navigate Black's tour schedule with her work in Hollywood. She released two records for Kirshner Records, one for RCA Records and one for Atlantic Records. "If Love Must Go" is her most notable solo song to date. The couple achieved a breakthrough as a duo with "When I Said I Do". The song was No. 1 on the Billboard Charts in 1999 and received a Grammy Award nomination. It also won Vocal Event of the Year at the Academy of Country Music Awards. In 2005, it was named one of CMT's top 100 country music duets. Their second duet, "Easy For Me to Say," reached #27 on the charts in 2002. Their latest duet, "You Still Get to Me," was released in 2016, showing that the couple is still actively making great music together.
After living in Los Angeles, California, the couple relocated to Nashville in 2002 following the birth of their daughter, Lily Pearl Black.
Black told Country Living, "When we got married, my capacity to feel deepened," he says. "Our marriage, who we are together, guides me. The big question [was], what would the two of us being saying in front of the rest of the world? It had to ring true for who we are."
The singers have also starred in feature films together. Flicka: Country Pride and Still Holding On: The Legend of Cadillac Jack allowed the couple to work together on location. They love working together when the opportunity presents itself and call each other their best friends. Though having daughter Lily has made Hartman more selective with her film roles, she was still active in the 1990s with roles in Have You Seen My Son, Someone Else's Child, Out of Nowhere, and 2000 Malibu Road.
Through it all, the Blacks are an example of true love in Nashville and Hollywood. I have faith we'll be seeing more of this country duo. Hopefully, another duet with more rich vocals is in the works.
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