American Idol winner Scotty McCreery is engaged to his longtime girlfriend, Gabi Dugal, after popping the question in the picturesque mountains of North Carolina on Tuesday.
“I’ve been planning this moment for so long that it feels surreal for it to have finally happened,” McCreery gushed in a a statement. “Gabi is the perfect girl and my true love, and I cannot wait to begin building our life together as husband and wife.”
The country star carefully planned the proposal, helping design an engagement ring, then asking Dugal, a pediatric cardiac nurse, to take a hike with him on their favorite trail. After arriving at the top of the mountain, McCreery got down on one knee and asked Dugal to be his wife.
The pair adorably first met in kindergarten, with Dugal becoming so smitten with the “Five More Minutes” singer that she would write “Mrs. Gabi McCreery” in her journal.
Having grown up together, the pair started dating nearly six years ago with Dugal -- who has appeared in McCreery’s music videos -- winning over his fans as well.
“My fans instantly embraced Gabi once they learned we were dating and have always been loving towards her,” McCreery shared. “When she graduated college last year, many of them brought me gifts for her at my shows and book signings. I will always appreciate their kindness to her.”
The engagement comes less than two months after Dugal caught the bouquet at a wedding the pair attended together.