LAS VEGAS, NV - APRIL 15: Kimberly Schlapman (L) and Stephen Schlapman take a selfie during the 53rd Academy of Country Music Awards at MGM Grand Garden Arena on April 15, 2018 in Las Vegas, Nevada.
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Kimberly Schlapman and Stephen Schlapman: How The Little Big Town Singer Found Love After Immeasurable Loss

Kimberly Schlapman found love while dealing with unspeakable loss.

Little Big Town's Kimberly Schlapman and her husband Stephen have been married since 2006 and share two daughters, Daisy Pearl and Dolly Grace (named after Dolly Parton). However, before they wed, Schlapman experienced a heartbreaking loss. It was through this tragedy that Schlapman and her husband found one another.  Their relationship —and eventually, their family— bloomed out of grief.

Love Grows Through Grief

NASHVILLE, TN - JUNE 10: Stephen Schlapman and singer Kimberly Schlapman attend the 2015 CMT Music awards at the Bridgestone Arena on June 10, 2015 in Nashville, Tennessee.

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Before marrying Stephen, Kimberly dealt with an unimaginable loss— the death of her first husband, Steven Roads, who passed away from a heart attack in 2005. Kimberly's now-husband, Stephen Schlapman, was friends with Roads and was also impacted by his death. After the tragedy, Kimberly and Stephen bonded through their grief, and eventually, their feelings began to grow.

"I wasn't planning on falling in love, at all," Kimberly said, as quoted by The Boot. "I didn't want to ... I wasn't sure that I ever would. So, my husband now and I were just really good friends, and after my late husband died, all my friends were calling me, all the time. Just checking up on me. He was just an old friend. We had known each other for about six years, and he started calling me just like everybody else did. But he started calling me more than everybody else did."

Kimberly shared that she and Stephen grew close over their shared loss of Roads, and Stephen was a listening ear she could talk to about her late husband, as he was dealing with his own grief. Although they had that common bond, Kimberly was still shocked when she began developing feelings for Stephen.

"I remember when I first realized that I was having feelings, I just thought, 'OK, this is so weird. What is this? I haven't felt this in a long, long time,'" she said. "But eventually I allowed myself, and it's been the most beautiful gift of my life. It pulled me out of the deepest hole that I've ever been in and healed me."

The Gift of Their Daughters

Kimberly's marriage to Stephen has been a blessing in more ways than one, as shortly after they wed, she became pregnant with their first daughter, Daisy Pearl. Kimberly was never able to become pregnant with her first spouse, so she believes her daughter was sent as a gift from him.

"When we got pregnant on our honeymoon, it was just the most incredible gift," she told People. "I believe that my first husband, who was in heaven, I believe he begged God, 'Let's give her what she's always wanted for a wedding gift.'"

When Daisy was young, she began asking her parents for a sibling and started praying to God for a little brother or sister. The couple tried to conceive a second child both naturally and through artificial insemination and in vitro fertilization, but they did not succeed. Eventually, they decided to adopt, and in December 2016, they welcomed their second daughter, a baby girl named Dolly Grace. The addition of Dolly and the answer to Daisy's prayers for a sibling inspired Kimberly to write the 2020 children's book, A Dolly For Christmas. The book tells their story and encourages other families who are going through similar situations.

"I just want people to be hopeful and to know that if they're in the middle of a struggle, they are not alone," Kimberly told People. "We walked those same roads, and they are very, very difficult. But, in the end, there is restoration and there are children who are waiting for them."

Little Big Town

Rebecca Arthur, recording artists Phillip Sweet, Jimi Westbrook, Karen Fairchild, and Kimberly Schlapman of music group Little Big Town and Stephen Schlapman attend the 50th Academy of Country Music Awards at AT&T Stadium on April 19, 2015 in Arlington, Texas.

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Kimberly has been a member of Grammy-winning, Nashville-based country music bandLittle Big Town since its formation in 1998. The band, also consisting of Karen Fairchild, Jimi Westbrook,and Phillip Sweet, released their debut, self-titled album in 2001. Since then, the group has scored multiple hit singles, including "Better Man," "Girl Crush," "Day Drinking" and "Pontoon." In addition to their four Grammy awards, Little Big Town has taken home nine CMA Awards and eight ACM Awards.

Kimberly often posts photos of her family on social media and can be found under the name 'ohgussie.'She also enjoys cooking and published her own cookbook, Oh Gussie! Cooking and Visiting in Kimberly's Southern Kitchen. She has also taken her cooking skills to the small screen with her TV show Kimberly's Simply Southern.

This story previously ran on April 20, 2022.

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