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Lauren Akins Joins Thomas Rhett on ‘Where We Started’ Radio To Talk About Their Life

Lauren & Thomas talk changes to their lives & her favourite songs of his.

Thomas Rhett With Wife Lauren Akins
Credit: Stephen Lovekin/Shutterstock

Thomas Rhett’s wife, Lauren Akins joins the fourth episode of Where We Started Radio. Lauren discusses the music she connects with the most, how she feels about being in the spotlight, and her perspective on the song “Die a Happy Man.”

Tune in and listen to the episode anytime on-demand with an Apple Music subscription at

Lauren Akins on what she envisioned for herself early on compared to what her life is like now
When I imagined my life as a little girl, there were two things that I saw. Three. One was being a mom, eventually. I look up to my mother in so many ways and wanted so much of the life that she had raising us three, but then I also saw, or my heart really longed to travel and see the world, specifically Africa, and that was a dream of mine. Another thing that I saw and dreamed of growing up was being in the medical field. And I really wanted to try to marry the two, of traveling and working in the medical field. It’s not shocking that you ended up in the life that you are in. I mean, we all knew that you were talented growing up. Obviously, it’s your passion, music is your passion. I did not necessarily think that you wouldn’t end up here, but the chances of somebody making it like you have is such a gift, but also so rare, it just doesn’t happen. But I also didn’t see myself ending up with you. So even on the off chance that you did make it, I did not see myself married to someone who is in the spotlight all the time. And once I realized that I loved you and I wanted to spend the rest of my life with you it was such a sweet realization and something that I was so excited about.

Lauren Akins on being in the spotlight
The next realization that you were continuing down this path and I was not going to be able to avoid the spotlight was not so easy to take. And if I’m being honest, it’s still is not easy to take. But I also see how we live this life that you were following your dream. But within your dream, you have tried to create and have created so well space for me to be able to have my dreams. Yes, at the end of the day, I would probably prefer not to have millions of people watching what I’m doing. I love to be center of attention when it is like my people and people that I know and people that I’ve grown up with and our family and our close friends. But when it is somebody that I’ve never met before getting on stage and speaking in front of people, it took me a very long time to get comfortable with it. But I’m also realizing that it is not fully my choice how my life goes and that God always has a plan, and this one was way different from mine. But now at 32, almost 10 years into marriage, looking back over our life together, He did marry those two dreams of mine, but then brought all three of them together because now I’m a mom of a daughter from Uganda that I was over there and met her because I was on a medical trip. I could not have dreamed up this life myself.

Thomas Rhett Apple Music Radio
Credit: Apple Music Radio

Lauren Akins on the adoption process for their daughter, Willa Gray
I remember feeling something that was very different and what it felt like to me, in my spirit, was just I have to take care of this little girl. I called you that night on FaceTime and I told you that I met a little girl and I think it’s our job to find her forever home because Willa Gray was one of the truly orphaned children that our organization was supporting at the time. A lot of the kids over there have family members and were not true orphans, but Willa Gray’s story is, at the time, she was. And so when I told Thomas Rhett that, there was kind of a long pause and he said, “We’ll do it. We’ll bring her home.” I don’t even know that you really fully remember saying that because I remember the first time I told this story, you were like, “I did?” And it scared me to death because I wasn’t really sure what this looks like or are we ready for this? Are we going to be good parents? What if we totally screw this up? But there is a reason why every child is a child of their parents and I know that Willa Gray was meant to be in our family, just like every kid is meant to be in their own family.

Lauren Akins and Thomas Rhett on “Die A Happy Man”
THOMAS RHETT: In 2015, I’d written a song called “Die A Happy Man.” And I played it for you, and you loved it. The demo, at the time, was me, Sean Douglas, and Joe London. And I was riding on a bus at 2:30 in the morning, leaving Arkansas. And you can hear the hum of the bus in the background. You can hear out of tune guitar in my 2:30 in the morning voice, which was absolutely destroyed from a weekend of shows. But that is the demo that you fell in love with. And so we went in to record the song, and Dan had added all these extra things like drums and base and background vocals and all this stuff. And I remember playing you the first cut, and you were like, “This can’t be. You’re going to take this to radio?”
LAUREN AKINS: One as much. I was like, what about the other one? You were like, we actually cannot physically use the other one. And I was like, why not? And then you introduced me, the term… What did you call it? Demo-itis.
THOMAS RHETT: Demo-itis.
LAUREN AKINS: That’s what you call it every time. You’re like… Well, you’ve learned now because you wait until you…
THOMAS RHETT: Until I finish the song.
LAUREN AKINS: Until you finish the song, and then you let me hear it.
LAUREN AKINS: I’ve come a long way from “Die A Happy Man.”

Lauren Akins on her favorite song from Thomas Rhett’s new album

There are so many that I love and I can’t say one is above the rest. Again, going back to me and you and thinking through my most memorable moments with me and you. And you singing about that in your songs, I feel like “Mama’s Front Door” just is all of it. You know, you talk about our girls in it, which makes my mama heart happy. So I feel like you include everybody in that song and it’s good. It’s so good. But it’s sweet, and of course, it’s got the nostalgia piece for me.

Tune in and listen to the episode anytime on-demand with an Apple Music subscription at


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