Marty Stuart and Connie Smith: A Love Story Years in the Making

Wade Payne/Invision/AP

Country music stars Connie Smith and Marty Stuart have a rather unconventional love story (Hey, so did June and Johnny Cash), but they have become one of the strongest relationships in the music industry. They go together like Elvis Presley and Memphis, Tennessee.

Stuart is actually 17 years younger than his country legend wife of over 20 years. Smith was his mother's favorite singer and when he was just 12 years old he was taken to one of her shows in his hometown of Philadelphia, Mississippi. (Whatever the price of admission was, it was worth it.)

In the video below, Stuart discusses his longtime love of Connie Smith's voice and the first time he saw the singer in person.

"Connie Smith was my mother's very favorite singer," Stuart says in the clip. "And I remember the recording we had of her was one of her RCA Victor records. It was called Miss Smith Goes to Nashville and it was the most beautiful portrait of her. I sat it up on our stereo in the living room and I'd go by it and just look at it and I'd think 'Man, she's really pretty, I think Connie Smith is beautiful...Her songs and her singing was so powerful, it went beyond just being pretty. She had that power in her voice that would reach out and touch your heart."

Read More: 8 of the Best Marty Stuart Songs

Years later, after Stuart had his own music career, the "Once a Day" singer asked him to help produce her 1998 album, which ended up being her big Billboard top ten comeback. While working together and writing some romantic country songs, all those old white hot feelings from his childhood crush came back.

Then and only then did Stuart go to his mother. He told her all about his feelings for the country singer and how logistically, it definitely looked like a challenge. She told him to go for it and the rest is history. Smith had been through three marriages at the time and admitted that after those failures she wouldn't marry again. Luckily, she took a chance and when Marty decided to pop the question she said yes. The two have been inseparable ever since. It's a true American love story. The couple were married in 1997.

Not only have they collaborated together (more than once) but Smith also joined the cast of The Marty Stuart ShowShe's a member of the Grand Ole Opry and has been inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame. She's also been nominated for 11 Grammy awards for her country hits, including "Run To You" and "Ain't Had No Lovin'."

This story has us thinking... ain't love a good thing?

Now Watch: Country Love Songs of the '90s


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Marty Stuart and Connie Smith: A Love Story Years in the Making