Thomas Rhett’s Wife Did More Than Inspire

"Die a Happy Man" Was Her Request for Something Sweeter

Thomas Rhett’s wife inspired “Die a Happy Man.” Actually, she kind of demanded it.

Lauren, Rhett’s high school sweetheart from Valdosta, Georgia, became his wife in 2006.

And then after they’d been married for a while, she challenged Rhett to write more sweet songs. Maybe his first hit “Something to Do with My Hands” was too sexy, and this last hit “Crash and Burn” was too sad.

When he played her his current No. 1 song “Die a Happy Man,” which he co-wrote with Sean Douglas and Joe Spargur, she knew that was the one.


“I wish I could have played ‘Die a Happy Man’ for her in person the first time she heard it. But I actually sent her an email of the demo at like 4 in the morning when we finished it on the bus. But when she woke up, she was like, ‘This is hands down one of the best songs you’ve ever written,’” he recalled, not specifying if he rewrote the “hands down” line in the song because of her comment.

“She’s only really said that two other times in my life, so I guess I don’t write that many great songs,” he joked. “But she loved it, and I think we all knew immediately, even when I played it for the label and management, we all knew we had something really special.”

So special, in fact, that hip hop artist Nelly was compelled to cover it. I haven’t paid much attention to Nelly since he and Tim McGraw got together for “Over and Over” in 2004, but his version of Rhett’s hit is pretty cool.

Alison makes her living loving country music. She's based in Chicago, but she's always leaving her heart in Nashville.