Before he was a star, Trace Adkins 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. Her name was Rhonda.

"I was not planning to fall in love with Trace," Rhonda Adkins 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."

Adkins' wife talked her boss at Arista Records into going out to see the aspiring artist, but a followup 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," Rhonda Adkins adds. "I had no intention of ever dating him. It surprised both of us."

The couple married in 1997 and have three daughters; the 'This Ain't No Love Song' singer also two daughters from a previous marriage. Unfortunately, in 2014, they announced their divorce, after 17 years of marriage, due to irreconcilable differences.

This story was originally written by Deborah Evans-Price, and revised by Christina Vinson.