Shay Mooney is one half of one of Nashville's most iconic country duos, Dan + Shay, with Dan Smyers. They performed at the 2020 CMA Awards with Justin Bieber and the two bandmates continually release new music that kills on country radio like "Tequila," "I Should Probably Go To Bed," and their debut single "19 You + Me." But the other most important relationship in his life is with longtime love, wife Hannah Billingsley.
The country music star and Billingsley met the way many modern romances begin -- on social media. The couple had a number of mutual friends and would occasionally exchange messages. Eventually, Mooney convinced Billingsley, a former Miss Arkansas, to come to his Fayetteville, Arkansas show. The first time he saw her, he knew it was love and he invited her to be his date at the ACM Awards. After a year and a half, the star proposed to his girlfriend near a beautiful old church in her hometown. Their families were waiting inside the church to surprise the newly engaged bride to be in a gesture so romantic it sounds like it's straight out of a country song.
"She's the best thing that's ever happened to me, so I had to lock it down. She's my better, and much better-looking half," Mooney joked to People following the engagement.
"I had so much I wanted to say to this beautiful girl when I was proposing, but I was so shaky and nervous I don't even remember what I said, or if what I said made a lick of sense," he continued. "Hannah cried. As you can see in the picture, she cried a lot!"
While the happy couple was busy planning their wedding, they found out that they were expecting their first child together. Baby boy Asher James Mooney officially joined the family on January 24, 2017.
"It has been a huge change and the best change," Mooney told PEOPLE after welcoming his new son. "You love each other a ton and then you have a kid and you never realize how much you could love something. It strengthens your love for each other, but it also just opens up this entire other deeper world of love that you never knew you could have."
The country star and his longtime love finally tied the knot at the Mooney family farm on October 20, 2017. Baby Asher wore an adorable little tux and Dan Smyers served as one of the groomsmen. The music video for "Speechless" even included footage from the big day.
"Shay is everything I never knew I needed," Hannah told Arkansas Bride. "I truly never imagined being with a man in the music industry, so it took me some time to come around. But God had other plans. Shay was and is patient as the day is long and makes me laugh at every turn. He's my person. I love him more than words can express..."
After a couple of years of marriage, the couple announced that Asher was going to be a big brother. They welcomed their second child Ames Alexander Mooney on February 21, 2020. The country singer joked with ET that his oldest was a bit apprehensive about having a second son in the house when they broke the news.
"We're trying to tell Asher what it's all about, he has no idea. He's like, 'Wait, I'm going to have to share what? Everything? That's not gonna work for me!'"
This article was originally published in 2020.