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Country’s Greatest Love Stories: Trace & Rhonda Adkins

Trace & Rhonda Adkins

Trace was struggling to land a record deal and weathering the breakup of his second marriage when he struck up a friendship with a pretty young publicist. “I was not planning to fall in love with Trace,” Rhonda tells The Boot. “A mutual friend of ours had me come out to hear him sing. The minute I saw him I knew that he would be a star.”

Rhonda talked her boss at Arista Records into going out to see the aspiring artist, but a follow-up meeting had to be postponed. “I was so excited for him to meet the staff,” she recalls. “Instead, we received a phone call that his wife had shot him through both lungs and both ventricles of his heart. I waited for about a week and then took some violets over to him. After that, I called him every few weeks just to check on him. I had no intention of ever dating him. It surprised both of us.”

The couple married in 1997 and have three daughters (Trace also two daughters from a previous marriage). “I think what makes a marriage work is marrying someone that is your friend,” says Rhonda. “We have weathered many storms together, but we have stayed strong.”

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