Clare Bowen + Brandon Robert Young — Country’s Greatest Love Stories
Clare Bowen met her now-husband, fellow artist Brendan Robert Young, when she was on the brink of launching a solo musical career. Fans had already come to know and love her as the actor portraying singer-songwriter Scarlett O'Connor on the hit TV show Nashville, and Bowen was a little nervous about taking the stage not as her character, but as herself.
During one of her very first shows, her management company arranged for Young to sing with Bowen onstage. "They were like, 'Brandon is wonderful, he sings beautifully, and he's an incredibly professional musician. We would like him to start writing with you on our album as well, if you guys get along,'" Bowen remembers.
So, the pair met backstage at Bridgestone Arena for a quick rehearsal. As soon as he walked into the room, Bowen says, she knew there was something special about her new singing partner: "It was like someone tapped me on the shoulder and said, 'Don't take your eyes off that boy,'" she recalls. "I just wanted to know him. I knew that he was good all the way through."
The pair sat down and played through "If I Didn't Know Better," a song that Bowen had performed as part of Nashville, alongside Sam Palladio, who played her character's love interest and duet partner, Gunnar Scott. "No one had ever sung the song to me like that. Like, it had never felt like anything before," Bowen remembers of that first rehearsal. "And I thought, 'This guy must be an actor! What's he playing at?'"
Young proposed to Bowen on the Grand Ole Opry stage in 2015, although wedding plans had to be put on hold after Bowen's brother Tim was diagnosed with cancer (Bowen herself is a pediatric cancer survivor). Fortunately, Tim entered remission, and in 2017, the pair officially tied the knot in Nashville, People reports. Bowen and Young were married by John Carter Cash, a close friend, a fellow artist and the son of Johnny Cash and June Carter Cash.