Miranda Lambert is one of the biggest country stars on the planet, and her music has often been inspired by her various heartaches. So when the singer found love with her new beau Brendan McLoughlin, you might have expected her to shout it from the rooftops. But instead, the couple decided to wed in secret.
Not that much is known about McLoughlin – the lucky man who won Lambert’s heart in late 2018. We do know that he is an N.Y.P.D. officer, the father of one little boy, and had split from his fiancée prior to meeting the country star. However, apart from that, he’s a bit of a mystery. And it seems that’s the way Lambert wanted it to be – at first at least.
Even so, the Grammy-winning star has since opened up about how she met McLoughlin. Their chance first encounter occurred outside of the Good Morning America studios in New York back in November 2018. Lambert had been visiting the ABC headquarters to promote her latest project with her band, the Pistol Annies.
Revealing how the initial meeting with McLoughlin unfolded, in October 2019 Lambert told The New York Times, “I met my husband doing press for the Pistol Annies record, this time last year. Our record came out the day after Halloween, and we did Good Morning America.”
Lambert explained, “My husband was doing security there for the show. My girlfriends, the Annies, saw him and knew I might be ready to hang out with someone. They invited him to our show behind my back. They plucked him for me. My security guy Tom, he was in on it too. He said to me, ‘He’s here. And he’s pretty.’”
It’s not clear what exactly went down at that Pistol Annies gig, but it appears that Lambert and McLoughlin hit it off. That’s because, just two months after the couple first met, they tied the knot in a secret ceremony on January 26, 2019. The low-key wedding took place in Davidson County, Tennessee.
Following their nuptials, the couple waited a couple of weeks before publically announcing their marriage on social media. In true romantic form, Lambert shared the happy news with her Instagram followers on Valentine’s Day 2019. And what’s more, fans also got a glimpse of Lambert and McLoughlin’s special day.
Alongside a written tribute to McLoughlin, Lambert shared two heartwarming snaps from their wedding day. The first showed the singer cuddling up to her new husband, as both of them made their happiness evident, with beaming smiles on their faces. In the photo, we see McLoughlin clad in a white shirt and black jacket, while Lambert wears an elegant white lace dress.
Fans were treated to a clearer look at Lambert’s wedding gown in the second photograph the country star shared. The snap showed her and McLoughlin staring into each other’s eyes, with Lambert’s form-fitting dress and sweeping train visible in all its glory. The beautiful dress also featured sheer lace long sleeves and a plunging v-neck.
Alongside the wedding photographs, Lambert revealed the news of her marriage in her Instagram caption. She wrote, “In honor of Valentine’s Day I wanted to share some news. I met the love of my life. And we got hitched! My heart is full. Thank you Brendan Mcloughlin for loving me for…. Me. #theone.”
Of course, this isn’t Lambert’s first rodeo. She married fellow singer Blake Shelton in May 2014 after dating for eight years. They had been one of the most famous couples in country music for years. Additionally, their romance had often unfolded in full view of the public and their adoring fans.
Lambert and Shelton came together in September 2005 when they teamed up to perform David Frizzell’s song “You’re the Reason God Made Oklahoma” during a CMT 100 Greatest Duets special. Reportedly, the chemistry between Lambert and Shelton was clear to see, despite the fact that Shelton was still married to his first wife Kaynette Gern at the time.
Nevertheless, Shelton later admitted he and Lambert did have an instant connection in an interview with VH1’s Behind the Music. He said, “I’ve never had that kind of experience with anybody… I was a married guy, you know? Looking back on that, I was falling in love with her, right there on stage.”
Shelton initiated divorce proceedings from Gern five months later, and in 2006 their split was complete. He and Lambert subsequently announced their relationship to the world at the CMT Music Awards in 2007, when they posed as a couple on the red carpet at the event. And as their relationship developed, they often collaborated with one another on music projects.
Shelton popped the question to Lambert in May 2010, and later that month the bride-to-be opened up about the prospect of marriage to People magazine. Lambert said, “Weddings are great and engagements are great and diamonds are especially great… But I’m just excited to be married because I want to tell Blake I really can love him the rest of my life and be happy and make him happy.”
Lambert and Shelton tied the knot in a shabby-chic ranch wedding a year later in May 2011. The romantic ceremony was a star-studded affair, with Reba McEntire and Kelly Clarkson performing at the ceremony. However, Lambert and Shelton didn’t make to happily-ever-after, eventually splitting in July 2015.
In 2015 Lambert and Shelton released a statement addressing their break-up via Associated Press. In it, they said, “This is not the future we envisioned… And it is with heavy hearts that we move forward separately. We are real people, with real lives, with real families, friends and colleagues. Therefore, we kindly ask for privacy and compassion concerning this very personal matter.”
Following her divorce from Shelton, Lambert dated fellow musician Anderson East for two years. After that, Lambert dated Evan Felker – the lead singer of the Turnpike Troubadours – until they called off their relationship in August 2018. Later that month the country star revealed to The Tennessean that she was “happily single.”
While Lambert admitted that she’d experienced her fair share of heartache, she claimed her turbulent romantic life had been a source of inspiration for her music. Lambert explained, “Love is a hard road sometimes and it’s been a roller-coaster ride for me, but I’m definitely thankful for all the ups and downs because I’ve had some really good songs come out of it.”
Three months after her split from Felker, Lambert met McLoughlin. And given her prior experience in love, it seems that it didn’t take long for her to realize that he was a keeper. In October 2019 she explained to People, “I feel like I’ve been through enough in my life to know what I don’t want. So when I know what I do want I snatch it right up.”
And while Lambert has chosen to remain tight-lipped on her romance with McLoughlin, when she was asked if their meeting had been love at first sight, she entertained the idea that it was. Lambert told People, “I guess so. If that’s a thing… I have eight dogs and had love at first sight with them, too. Must be easier than I thought!”
However, while Lambert seemingly had no reservations about opening her heart to McLoughlin, she was more cautious about introducing him to the celebrity lifestyle. She explained, “To pull him into that world, I was like, ‘I’m sorry, this might be a shock.” However, Lambert added, “He just takes it like a champ… He’s better at it than I am.”
Perhaps Lambert was worried about exposing McLoughlin to public attention as that seems to be the part of her career that she struggles the most with. In fact, she has openly admitted that the interest in her personal life leaves her dumbfounded. That’s because she doesn’t see herself as being any different from anyone else.
As if to prove this point, in Lambert’s interview with People she revealed that she often dashes to Target in shorts and a T-shirt. She told the magazine, “I’m literally so normal… Sometimes I’m like, ‘Why are y’all so interested?’ I’m thankful, but I’m never going to get used to the public eye in that way.”
Given Lambert’s clear discomfort with the attention, her fame attracts, perhaps it’s not surprising that she chose to keep her marriage to McLoughlin under wraps. Nevertheless, her secret wedding certainly piqued the interest of her fans. As a result, they were no doubt eager to hear why Lambert had kept the spotlight off her big day when she opened up to People in 2019.
Referring to her first marriage to Shelton, Lambert told the magazine, “I was married before, and it was a huge wedding and everything was very public. So was my divorce… I learned then that it’s not for everybody else. This is my actual life. With Brendan, I made it a point to keep it as private as I could for as long as I could.”
Revealing just how laidback her wedding to McLoughlin really was, Lambert admitted that she even went without bridesmaids. Not even her Pistol Annies bandmates got a look in, and it was them who’d introduced the happy couple in the first place. Lambert explained, “I didn’t have nobody. That was mine and his moment.”
As a couple, Lambert and McLoughlin have chosen to split their time between Nashville and New York City. And living between the Big Apple – where McLoughlin is a cop – and Music City, gives the newlyweds “the best of both worlds,” as Lambert told Extra in June 2019.
In New York, Lambert got to spend time with McLoughlin’s son, and it seemed that she was enjoying being a stepparent. The singer told Extra, “My stepson is amazing… I’m loving that whole phase, and I’ve raised a million dogs, so I feel like I’ve got that part of my womanly/motherly thing is full. So this is a whole new journey. It’s great.”
And while Lambert was adjusting to her new role as a stepmother, McLoughlin had to get used to her furbabies. However, it seems that he rose to the challenge of being a dog dad happily. Lambert explained, “He’s a great guy and, bless his heart. He didn’t have any dogs or any animals at all when he came into this relationship, so he inherited a whole barn full.”
It seemed that Lambert and McLoughlin had slotted into each other’s lives pretty seamlessly. And the country star was even reaping the benefits of dividing her time between two cities. Lambert told Extra, “We spend time in New York, we get to see our adorable nugget, then we get to come back to the farm and have the quiet life. I’m enjoying the balance.”
So while Tennessee had been home for Lambert prior to meeting McLoughlin, she liked the relative anonymity that New York offered her. She explained to The New York Times, “When people recognize you here, they don’t make a big deal. [They’re like] ‘Oh. Hey. You’re Miranda Lambert. Like your music. Bye.’”
But while Lambert enjoyed some downtime in the first few months of her marriage to McLoughlin, she couldn’t avoid the spotlight forever. In September 2019 she embarked on the fall leg of her Roadside Bars & Pink Guitars Tour. And luckily for Lambert, her new husband was able to join her on the road after taking a leave of absence from the N.Y.P.D.
During her tour, Lambert kept her fans updated with all her daily goings-on while on the road, and even gushed openly about her relationship with McLoughlin. At a concert in Atlantic City, New Jersey, over Labor Day weekend in 2019, the singer told the crowd that she was “not in a sad time anymore.”
Lambert had been gearing up to give a paired-back rendition of “Tin Man” – arguably one of her saddest songs. Prior to singing, she told her audience, “Lucky for me, I’m not in a sad time anymore in my life, thank you to my sweet husband – from Staten Island, by the way!”
As McLoughlin watched on from the side of the stage, Lambert told the crowd at the Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa, “So even though I’m not sad anymore thanks to Brendan, my husband, I still love a sad country song with all my heart. So I’m going to sing a sad one if you want to get sad with me.”
And Lambert’s sweet shoutout to McLoughlin wasn’t the only insight the singer gave fans into their marriage. Later on in September 2019 the singer posted a series of videos to her Instagram stories, which showed that the newlyweds really did crack each other up. On this occasion, the couple shared a laugh over Lambert’s impending fashion disaster.
In the videos, one of which was captioned, “Pre-show problems… Being pretty ain’t pretty #tightbritches,” Lambert can be seen struggling in a particularly tight pair of pants. In fact, she doesn’t even dare to bend over, in case she ends up ripping them. Consequently, she has to get McLoughlin to help her put on her boots, with hilarious consequences.
In the video, McLoughlin tells Lambert, “I will help you put your boots on if you can grab them.” However, she complains that they are “so far away” prompting McLoughlin to enquire, “Why can’t you grab them… Are your pants going to rip?” Lambert replies meekly, telling her husband, “Possibly.”
Suitably forewarned, McLoughlin then proceeds to help Lambert into her boots, using all his might to force her feet inside. As he does so the couple can’t contain their joy, as they erupt into laughter. The scene perfectly illustrates what Lambert told People about her marriage in October 2019. Putting it simply, she said, “I’m really happy”… and she certainly looks it.