Luke Combs and Nicole Hocking’s love story, in their own words
Country star Luke Combs and wife Nicole Hocking's love story begins long before their days of red carpets and No. 1 hits.
The couple met in Florida in 2016 when Combs was still a "starving artist" and had no hits to his name, per Nashville Lifestyles. Within years, they were engaged and their lives would change drastically.
In 2020, they got married and later welcomed their first child, son Tex Lawrence Combs, in 2022. Then, on March 20, Combs and Hocking announced they were expecting another baby in an Instagram video they shared.
“Joining the 2 under 2 club! Baby boy #2 coming this September!!” Combs captioned the pic.
Here's what to know about the country music couple ahead of their second child's arrival.
Combs and Hocking first met at a songwriters festival in 2016
Combs and Hocking met in 2016 at a songwriters festival in Hocking’s home state of Florida. Hocking was working for BMI (Broadcast Music, Inc.), the company hosting the festival, and Combs was performing.
During an appearance on Couple Things with Shawn Johnson and Andrew East, Hocking said she made the first move.
“I was leaving a songwriters round and he was walking up late to it. I was just like, ‘Hey, come hang out with us, why are you by yourself?” Hocking said.
When they returned to Nashville, where they both lived, they started hanging out regularly. During that time, Hocking told Nashville Lifestyles that her future husband was still a "starving artist" with no accolades to his name, let alone a musician who won the CMA Entertainer of the Year Award two consecutive years in a row.
“I could tell she was different than anybody I had ever met,” Combs told the publication in 2021.
“I realized we could hang out and just be ourselves in front of each other,” Hocking said. “I could wear no makeup and be my weird self — because we’re all weird, but we get to choose who to share that side of us with. We could be each other’s weird in front of each other. That’s when it was like, ‘You know what? This guy’s a keeper.’”
Combs and Hocking got engaged in 2018
In November 2018, Combs announced that he and Hocking got engaged by posting a sweet picture of him kissing her forehead on Instagram.
He captioned the snap, "She said yes a while ago but this is a way better place to take pictures than the kitchen. Can’t wait to spend forever with you."
In his interview with Nashville Lifestyles, Combs explained how he proposed. It happened when he and Combs were moving from their apartment to their new house.
The "Beautiful Crazy" singer said he got down on one knee under the pretense of showing Hocking some new collars he got for their cats, sporting their new address.
“It was great,” Hocking recalled. “It ended up being a better story than it would have been.”
Combs has written songs about Hocking, including 'Beautiful Crazy'
In 2017, Combs let the world in to the early days of his relationship through the song "Beautiful Crazy."
Combs told Nashville Lifestyles that the jam was initially written when he first starting dating Hocking. The title was inspired by a poem his collaborator had sent him, called "Crazy Beautiful."
“The next time we wrote together I had just started hanging out with Nicole and had this overflow of feelings about her, so when I started writing, the lines just came out of the things that we did," he said.
"Like the ‘Her day starts with a coffee and ends with a wine’ part, that wasn’t a corny thing I made up. I just made her coffee every morning when we woke up and then I would pour her a wine every night," he continued. "It just kind of fell together pretty quickly. I always felt like it was a really great song, and it was neat to be able to play it for her.”
When Hocking heard the song for the first time, she told Nashville Lifestyles that the character description in the lyrics seemed "really familiar" to her.
"I obviously didn’t want to ask, ‘Is this about me?’ It made me a little bit shy, but it was awesome," she said. "Everyone wants to have a song written about them!”
"Beautiful Crazy" went on to win song of the year at the 2019 CMA Awards.
They had a small wedding in 2020
On August 1, 2020, Hocking and Combs tied the knot at their home in southern Florida in a small wedding ceremony, a spokesperson for Combs told TODAY in a statement.
Due to pandemic restrictions, the couple told Nashville Lifestyles they had to uninvite 120 people from the ceremony. “The small thing made it cool because we literally got to talk to everyone that was there and spend time with each of them,” Combs told Nashville Lifestyles.
Sharing the news on Instagram, Hocking wrote that it was "the most special" day, and that she's "happy" to spend the rest of her life with Combs.
Fittingly, their first dance was to the song Hocking inspired, "Beautiful Crazy."
“We wrestled with the idea of, ‘Is that corny and is it weird?’” he told reporters during the ACM Awards remote interviews, per Taste of Country. “It ended up being like, ‘You know what? This is the thing. We need to do this thing.’”
In the video for the song "Forever After All," Combs revisited his wedding day with Hocking, featuring real footage from the day.
Combs forgot to give his wife a shout-out while accepting an award
In 2021, fans noticed that Combs didn't thank his wife when he took home the award for entertainer of the year at the CMA Awards.
As the moment started to go viral on social media, Access Hollywood asked Combs why he didn't give his wife a shout-out. He said he was just caught up in the heat of the moment.
“I did forget to thank my wife out there, which, babe, I love you, you know I love you. I don’t even have to say it, you know I love you, baby," he told Access Hollywood.
The couple announced Hocking was pregnant in 2022
In January 2022, Hocking and Combs shared some major news with their fans: They were expecting their first child together.
The "Going, Going, Gone" singer shared a few photos of him and Hocking looking at the ultrasound on Instagram. “Here we go y’all!” Combs captioned a set of pics featuring Hocking’s baby bump. “Lil dude Combs is coming this Spring! Couldn’t be more excited to start a family with this babe. It’s gonna be a hell of a ride.”
Hocking, also expressed her joy on Instagram and said, "This may be the best year yet. Baby BOY Combs coming spring 2022!! We are so incredibly excited & thankful.”
They welcomed their first baby, a son, in 2022
In June 2022, Combs and Hocking became a family of three when Hocking gave birth to their son, Tex Lawrence Combs, on Father's Day.
Once again, Combs announced the news on Instagram. He said, “Welp he decided that Fathers Day would be a good time to show up. I couldn’t agree more. Me and @nicolejcombs are over the moon in love with this little guy. Mama and baby are healthy and we’re back home now with family. Life is good.”
Hocking also shared the same photo on Instagram, writing, "It’s going to be hard to top this past Father’s Day."
"Welcome to the world, Tex Lawrence Combs," she added. "You are the best chillest angel boy and I’m so happy I was chosen to be your mom. These are the days ."
Combs thanked Hocking at the 2022 CMA Awards
In November 2022, Combs won his second accolade for entertainer of the year at the CMA Awards. This time, he didn't forget to thank his wife.
When he gave his acceptance speech, Combs said, “Oh my goodness. I never, ever know what to say. I want to thank country music for making my dreams come true, my beautiful, beautiful wife Nicole, our beautiful four and a half month old son Tex at home right now. This is a dream come true."
The couple announced they're expecting a second child
In a March 20, 2023 Instagram video, the couple revealed that they are having another baby.
“Joining the 2 under 2 club! Baby boy #2 coming this September!!” they wrote.
The clip showed the couple in an outdoor woodsy setting with Combs and Hocking taking turns holding little Tex, who is wearing a white onesie that reads, “big brother.”
This article was originally published on TODAY.com