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Celebrities these days do a lot of hooking up and a lot of breaking up. When a celebrity gets married to a celebrity, it's a pretty fair assessment to say that the first year in the marriage is equivalent to the first five years in a marriage between two normal people. Between the public scrutiny, the crowded schedules, and the time spent apart for music tours or film shoots, celebrities have a rough time keeping it together. That's not to say it's impossible, though. Some couples manage. In Nashville there are at least three marriages still going strong. The successful partners have made big names for themselves in the country music industry. These country couples, so far, are making it work.
Keith Urban and Nicole Kidman are still a very young couple. They recently had an anniversary, celebrating five years of marriage. While Nicole Kidman isn't a country star, she is a major film star. She is also musically inclined and has experience as a pianist. In fact, rather than having a double play the piano for her character in Cold Mountain, Nicole chose to play it herself. She also did her own singing in the musical Moulin Rouge.
Unlike Nicole, Keith Urban is a full-blown country star. He began his country music career in Australia, but his sights were ultimately set on Nashville. As with many musicians, the world around him shaped his music. In Urban's case, the Australian style that he grew up with was combined with the country music that he loved. His sound was a hit and he eventually landed in Nashville, signing a deal with Capital Nashville. Urban's career had some ups and downs. His first albums, recorded with a group called The Ranches, were moderately successful, but he had to take some time off his career to let his voice rest after developing some throat problems. When he went solo in 1999 his career finally took off. Within six years he was an all-out country star. Shortly after, he met his soon-to-be wife Nicole Kidman. They were married in June of 2006 and had their first child a year later. Their marriage has gone up against the battering rams and, so far, has won. Keith Urban was an alcoholic. Three months after he married Nicole he admitted himself into rehab. His battle to end the disease was very public and for Nicole, very challenging. She claimed that they went through ten years of marriage in three months. Rather than destroying what the two celebrities had, the experience solidified their relationship, giving them a stronger foundation than they would have had otherwise. After five years of marriage, it still shows and the two are still going strong.
Vince Gill and Amy Grant are another successful country couple. Amy Grant is known for her gospel music and has earned herself the title "Queen of Christian Pop". In an effort to widen her fan base, after becoming a famous gospel singer, she began moving into more contemporary pop music. This move was met with some resistance by her more resilient, gospel-loving fans, but was ultimately successful, landing her a Grammy nomination. After some experimentation into darker, slower music Grant eventually went back to her roots of gospel music.
Vince Gill has a long history as a country music star. He joined Pure Prairie League in 1976. In 1980 they released a successful album, with one of the songs becoming a number one country hit. He took his career solo in 1983 and shortly after earned the Academy of Country Music's Top New Male Vocalist award. He continued to have moderate success until he switched record labels, a move that paid off. He sold two million copies of his next album and earned himself a Grammy Award for Best Country Song. Success continued to follow him, even when he began to cross over into pop music. In the course of his career Vince Gill won five consecutive Country Music Association Awards for Best Male Vocalist. He is the only artist ever to have done so. He has also received fourteen Grammy’s for his music.
Both Amy and Vince were married before finding each other, and both had been in these other relationships for more than fifteen years. Their divorces and marriage to each other were met with plenty of public scrutiny, particularly because Grant was known for her Christian beliefs. The couple tied the knot in March of 2000 and has been going strong ever since. Much of this may be due to the fact that they learned from the past. Amy Grant has been quoted as saying "Oh man, some of those weird dynamics, those were just me, and I've just dragged them off to the future! I shouldn't have been so hard on that first chapter!"
The most successful modern country couple has to be Tim McGraw and Faith Hill. They are coming up on their fifteenth wedding anniversary. Faith Hill was adopted at a week old. She sang in church and moved to Nashville when she was 19. Her first job as a professional singer was singing backup for Gary Burr. This proved to be a smart career move because she was discovered by a Warner Bros. executive while singing with Burr. Warner Bros released her first album and launched her into stardom. Her single, Wild One, was in the number one position for four weeks on Billboard's country singles chart, making country music history. Her career continued to take off with multi-platinum record sales, CMA awards, Grammy awards, and more chart-topping singles. Faith Hill is one of country's biggest stars.
Like Faith Hill, McGraw began his music career in the nineties. McGraw's father was a famous baseball player named Tug McGraw. After a short romance with McGraw's mother, Tug left. She married Horace Smith when Tim was seven months old. The marriage ended when he was nine. McGraw's success in the music industry started in his twenties, after he released his second album in 1994, right around the time Faith found her success. He is most known for singing with feeling. He doesn't just sing the words. He believes as an artist he needs to make people feel, and he does just that. He has sold millions of records and earned a slew of country music awards.
Tim McGraw and Faith Hill met on Tim's Spontaneous Combustion tour. She was the opening act. He proposed to her right before a show and she answered by writing the answer on a mirror. They were married in October of 1996. Tim and Faith have made it a point to keep their marriage alive by recognizing that it is the most important thing to them. Their values are based on family and home, not just on success. Because of this they've managed to make it work.
These three country couples are not the only celebrity couples who are making it work, not by a long shot, but each couple has something others can learn from. They make it work by respecting and valuing each other and the relationship. They have learned not to run when the going gets tough, but to stick around and work things out.