OFFSTAGE: Jake Owen on His Fiancée: “She Makes Me a Better Man”

(CMT Offstage keeps a 24/7 watch on everything that’s happening with country music artists behind the scenes and out of the spotlight.)

No wonder Jake Owen proposed. Lacey Buchanan, who Owen met when she played his love interest in his “Eight Second Ride” video, makes him a better man. That’s what he told me Wednesday night (April 18) when he was in Chicago. I asked him how he knew Buchanan was the one.

“My mom and dad always said, ’When you know, you know.’ And they’ve been married for 30 years. It’s kind of hard to explain until you know. But I just knew. She’s awesome,” he said. “And she makes me a better man.”

Their romance started (in Owen’s mind, anyway) when they met on that video set almost four years ago. “I fell in love with her. But she was in my video, and I just didn’t want to ever be the guy who hit on the girl in his video. I got her number and tried to keep in touch with her, but she blew me off,” he admitted. He said it was when he convinced her to be in his “Barefoot Blue Jean Night” video — she’s the one in the green bikini — that things took a more serious turn.

Now that Owen has proposed (in concert on April 7 in his hometown of Vero Beach, Fla.) and given her a ring (a 2.5-carat oval-cut diamond set in platinum), the wedding is next. And it’s soon.

“We’re getting married soon, in the next couple months. I mean, why not? We’re gonna make it really cool and simple and get married on a beach somewhere at sunrise,” he said. And when I asked where, he just smiled and said, “There’s nothing like your hometown, right?” After the wedding, Owen says Buchanan will probably come out on the road with him for his upcoming Brothers of the Sun tour with Kenny Chesney and Tim McGraw. “She likes it out here. And I like her to be out here,” he said. “She keeps me sane.”