Tennessee is full of high profile love stories. Caroline and Luke Bryan. Carrie Underwood and Mike Fisher. But Little Big Town's Karen Fairchild and Jimi Westbrook have been half of one of country music's beloved music groups for years. Through the band's journey to stardom, the bandmates also found love, and it's one of the sweetest stories you'll hear, giving Americans tuned into their country radio stations hope that true love does exist.
Karen Fairchild and Kimberly Schlapman met while attending Samford University. They reconnected after moving to Nashville and decided to start making music together. Jimi Westbrook then joined, followed by Phillip Sweet, and country group Little Big Town was officially born.
At the time, Fairchild was married to someone else. It ended up not working out and after her divorce finalized, she and Westbrook took a chance. Luckily, LBT survived and thrived.
Fairchild tells Us Weekly, "I think Jimi and I had a special friendship and connection that blossomed when we were both single. Sometimes you just have to cross that line and take a chance and when we had that opportunity we did. Of course, we didn't want to mess up the band, but we decided it was worth the risk."
After getting married in 2006, the "Pontoon" singers welcomed a child, Elijah Dylan Westbrook in 2010. The band is doing better than ever and continuing to dish out hits including "Better Man," which won Best Performance by a Country Duo/Group at the 2018 Grammy Awards), "Girl Crush," which won 2015 Single of the Year at the CMA Awards, and "Smokin' and Drinkin'" (with Miranda Lambert). Did I mention they were the CMT Artists of the year in 2015 and 2018? They are an institution in Nashville.
"It is amazing," Fairchild said. "Jimi is my soulmate. I knew there was a deep connection there but once you decide to be together, you find even more, and then to have a child together is a beautiful, beautiful thing for us to share and a dream come true."
The couple is completely adorable on social media, where you can catch glimpses of Elijah, the couple hitting the red carpet, and some snaps from the road with other greats in country music.
The band debuted "Summer Fever" at the 2018 CMT Music Awards and will most likely continue releasing hits (and getting Vocal group of the year nominations). Their latest new album Nightfall was released this year that included multiple strong singles including "The Daughters" and "Over Drinking." While we love their music, we can't wait to continue following along with this sweet love story.
Editor's Note: This article previously ran in October of 2020.
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