Kacey Musgraves has never shied away from singing about her love life. Whether it’s beautiful ballads like “Butterflies” from 2018’s Golden Hour to heart-wrenching breakup songs on 2021’s star-crossed or duets with fellow superstar Zach Bryan, the country star, 35, has never shied away from singing about her feelings.
Most recently, Kacey had been romantically linked to writer Cole Schafer, but the pair reportedly split recently, according to Page Six. The breakup comes after about 2 years together for the couple. Following the news of their split, take a look back on the country star’s relationship with Cole and her past romances.
Romance rumors about Kacey and Cole were first sparked in June 2021, when the pair were seen walking around New York City together. The Golden Hour songwriter revealed that the two had first crossed paths in a restaurant in the Big Apple. “He did not know who I was, which I loved,” she admitted in a New York Times interview.
While the couple mostly kept their relationship private, Kacey did occasionally gush about the poet, like when she wrote a beautiful birthday tribute for him in January 2023. “You are such a fixture in the lives of all the people who are lucky enough to really know you,” she wrote on Instagram. “So grateful for all the laughs and adventures, deep talks, ego checks, wise advice, forehead kisses, the books you recommend, your late night ‘oh I just whipped this up’ and somehow it’s extremely gourmet pasta (like, actually Michelin star) situations, the gorgeous way you observe the world and the words that follow. And mostly your unabashed, full-throttle vulnerability which is easily the sexiest thing about you.”
While neither Kacey nor Cole have posted publicly about their split, sources told Page Six that they’ve been broken up for “at least a month,” as of November 2023.
Before Kacey connected with Cole, she was married to fellow singer-songwriter Ruston Kelly from 2017 to 2020. The pair first met at the Bluebird Cafe in Nashville and got engaged in 2016. Kacey revealed that her hit song “Butterflies” was written shortly after meeting Ruston (per Genius). When Golden Hour won the Album of the Year award at the 2019 Grammy Awards, the singer shouted out Ruston in her acceptance speech. “This album wouldn’t have been created without you,” she said.
Unfortunately, the pair ended up splitting up a year after the Grammys. The pair released a joint statement announcing that they’d split in July 2020. “With heavy but hopeful hearts we wanted to put our own thoughts into the air about what’s happening. These kinds of announcements are always met with scrutiny and speculation and we want to stop that before it even starts,” they said. “We’ve made this painful decision together — a healthy decision that comes after a very long period of trying the best we can. It simply just didn’t work.”
Kacey opened up about how surprised she would be to learn about their split at the Grammys in a 2021 interview with Elle. ““If you would’ve told me the night of the Grammys, ‘Hey, in two years, you’re going to be divorced and have a whole ’nother album written,’ I would have been like, ‘F**k off. No. No way,'” she said.
After the split, Kacey channeled her emotions into the breakup record star-crossed, which was released in September 2021.
Prior to meeting Ruston, Kacey was in a relationship with Misa Arriaga, who played guitar in her band, per Bustle. In addition to playing in her band, Kacey also sang a duet of “Are You Lonesome Tonight?” during a 2013 performance at the Grand Ole Opry. The Grammy-winner revealed that they had been friends before dating in a 2014 interview with ABC News. “We were friends for a couple years at least before seeing each other in that kind of light. It just so happens that we are really inspired by the same things,” she said.