A rocky road to romance. Sam Hunt and his now-estranged wife, Hannah Lee Fowler, had a love story worthy of a country song — or maybe even a whole album.
After meeting in their early 20s, the country star and Fowler dated for roughly four years until he decided to move to Nashville and pursue a music career. “She was under the impression, and I had sure expressed this to her at some point, that she was the No. 1 priority. I would choose her over everything,” Hunt told The New York Times in March 2020 about the reason for their initial split. “And then it sort of turned around and I said, actually, I want to choose [my career].”
Despite the breakup — and Fowler’s subsequent move to Hawaii — Hunt couldn’t let go of their memories together, even naming his debut album, Montevallo, after her hometown. “It was either [be with] her or push on as a bachelor,” the “Leave the Night On” singer recalled in a January 2017 interview with Nash Country Daily. “I realized she was meant to be a part of my life and when I realized that, as fast as I could, I went to try to convince her that was the way it needed to be.”
The couple reconciled in 2016, although they have kept the exact timeline under wraps, and announced their engagement in January 2017. Around the same time, Hunt released the painfully honest ballad, “Drinking Too Much,” as a public apology to Fowler for all of the hurt he caused her during their relationship and their time apart. “I’m sorry I named the album Montevallo / I’m sorry people know your name now / And hit you up on social media,” he sings in the first verse. “I know you want your privacy / You’ve got nothing to say to me / But I wish you’d let me pay off your student loans with these songs you gave to me.”
Though Hunt had Fowler’s permission to release the track on New Year’s Day 2017 — she even plays a few bars of “How Great Thou Art” on the piano near the end — the musician acknowledged that she struggled with being a public figure. “She has her own life and her ambitions and her own dreams and things are important to her, and I want to support those as much as she’s supported me,” the “Breaking Up Was Easy in the ’90s” singer told Entertainment Tonight in June 2017. “I think it’s been a little lopsided these first few weeks of marriage, so I owe her for sure … but she’s having fun.”
Despite his fame and some legal troubles — including his 2019 arrest for driving under the influence — the duo appeared to be enjoying married life and were even looking towards the future together. “We’ve been talking about [having kids] for a while, but we’ve really started thinking about it seriously here these past few months, so that’s on the agenda right now,” Hunt confessed during a July 2021 appearance on KISS Country 99.9 Miami’s TC & Dina radio show. “And I’m hoping that we’ll have some good news sooner than later.”
However, the next time the “Hard to Forget” musician and Fowler made headlines was in February 2022 when Us Weekly confirmed that she filed for divorce. According to court documents, a pregnant Fowler alleged that Hunt is “guilty of inappropriate marital conduct” and “adultery.” Later in the filing, the registered nurse claims that “all hopes of reconciliation” with Hunt had been “exhausted.”
Keep scrolling to relive all of Hunt and Fowler’s ups and downs through the years.