Sam Hunt and Wife Hannah: Inside the Ups and Downs of Their Marriage
By Paige Gawley
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Sam Hunt and Hannah Lee Fowler have a tumultuous history. The married couple has been on-again, off-again for more than a decade, and they have the ups and downs to prove it.
It's unclear exactly when Hunt met Fowler, an Alabama native, but many speculate that the two got acquainted when the country star was playing football at the University of Alabama at Birmingham.
After an NFL career didn't pan out for Hunt, he made the move to Nashville. Years later, in 2014, Hunt released his debut studio album, Montevallo. In an interview with E! News that year, Hunt revealed that he'd named the album after a girl's hometown. Fowler is from Montevallo, Alabama.
"I didn't actually live in that town," he said. "I had never visited Montevallo, but right before I left to go to Nashville, I met a girl from there. A lot of the experiences I had with her and the relationship I had with her, that inspired a lot of the songwriting on the album."
There weren't updates on Hunt's relationship status the next couple of years, until he released a track, "Drinkin' Too Much," on New Year's Eve 2016.
In the song, Hunt apologizes to Fowler for naming his album after her hometown and bringing unwanted attention onto her, before crooning about how much she means to him. If there was any doubt who the song was about, Hunt clears that up when he refers to Fowler by name.
"I know this might seem like a contradiction / The last thing you need is more unwanted attention / But you changed your number, and moved / And this is the only way I could reach you / So wherever you are, turn it up and listen," he sings. "Hannah Lee, I'm on my way to you / Nobody can love you like I do / I don't know what I'm gonna say to you / But I know there ain't no way, I know there ain't no way / No there ain't no way we're through."
By the time the song came out, Hunt and Fowler, a nurse, were already back together. When ET spoke with Hunt shortly thereafter, he revealed that he made a grand gesture to win Fowler back.
"I think last summer I went out [to Hawaii] about seven times in about three months," Hunt said of the summer of 2016. "Trying to talk to her about coming back. And the seventh trip I convinced her."
Hunt's persistence paid off, because he and Fowler got engaged in November 2016. While speaking on The Bobby Bones Show, Hunt revealed that he popped the question by the Sea of Galilee in Israel, amid an argument with Fowler.
"We actually had a little riff one evening when we were hanging out. I had the ring in my pocket and was planning on asking. And something came up that irritated her and I realized this may mess up my big plan to ask her to marry me that night. It kind of agitated me more about this issue," he explained. "It turned into this kind of fight that, fortunately, led to a perfect opportunity to ask her to marry me. So this little altercation we had actually worked out and created an opportunity for me to ask her to marry me. It worked out. It was a special moment."
Less than a year after their engagement, in April 2017, the pair got married in an intimate ceremony, which took place in Hunt's Georgia hometown, according to TMZ.
ET spoke with Hunt two months after the nuptials, and he gushed about his and Fowler's big day.
"It was perfect. Hannah was happy, and that was my number one priority, so it worked out," he said of the wedding. "My family was there. I got to spend time with people I haven't gotten to see in a while and celebrate a special time in my life and in my wife's life, and our families lives, so it was a really, really great moment."
In the same interview, Hunt spoke about what kind of husband he wanted to be. "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," he said.
When ET spoke with Hunt again in October 2017, he reflected on how his life had changed since he and Fowler committed to one another.
"I am like a lone wolf naturally, and I've kinda been taking that approach the past three years," he told ET. "I'm close with my band, but for the most part, I feel like I've been out here kind of solo. And to have somebody with me riding shotgun has been really awesome as I journey through all this craziness."
The next summer, Hunt told ET why he was grateful that he and Fowler dated before his music career took off.
"We dated well before I had any music out... I barely knew any chords on the guitar and just had no idea what I was doing," he said. "Part of it is because she doesn't put me on a pedestal. That trait, whatever that is, her ability to see through the thing... endears me to her."
Hunt added that, since tying the knot, "sharing life in a more intimate way with somebody... has made this journey a lot more enjoyable."
While Hunt told ET he had "some growing to do" before he and Fowler thought about having kids, he noted that he'd always wanted a family.
"I've always wanted to have lots of kids, so it's not something new," he said. "... Three [kids] has always been a number that works with me."
Then, in November 2019, Hunt was arrested for driving under the influence in Nashville, Tennessee. Per the arrest report, which was obtained by ET at the time, Hunt was driving on the wrong side of the road when he was pulled over, and had a blood alcohol level that was more than twice the legal limit.
"Wednesday night I decided to drive myself home after drinking at a friend’s show in downtown Nashville," Hunt tweeted the day after his arrest. "It was a poor and selfish decision and I apologize to everyone who was unknowingly put at risk and let down by it. It won’t happen again."
He pleaded guilty to two misdemeanor DUI charges in August 2021 and had his license suspended for one year.
"[We’ve] really started to think about it seriously here these past few months, so that’s on the agenda right now," Hunt told Audacy's TC & Dina radio show at the time. "I’m hoping we’ll have some good news sooner than later."
News that the pair was expecting came in February 2022. The pregnancy was revealed via divorce docs, though, which ET obtained. In the docs, Fowler cited "irreconcilable differences" as the reason to terminate the marriage, accused Hunt of "inappropriate marital conduct," and claimed that he was "guilty of adultery."
Just hours after Fowler filed for divorce, though, a notice of voluntary nonsuit was filed. Per the state of Tennessee, a nonsuit allows the plaintiff to "have the right to take a voluntary nonsuit to dismiss an action without prejudice by filing a written notice of dismissal at any time before the trial of a cause."
However, it turned out that Fowler didn't have a change of heart when she withdrew her divorce filing. Her lawyers were merely fixing an error. Fowler refiled her divorce petition in Tennessee just hours after her initial divorce filing, but this time did so in Williamson County. The initial docs were erroneously filed in Davidson County