Blake Shelton, 44, made headlines on Oct. 27, when he shared the happy news that he proposed to his girlfriend of five years, Gwen Stefani, 51, but 17 years before his latest engagement, he was getting hitched for the first time to Kaynette Williams, 47. The country singer met his first wife when he was only 15-years-old and she was just out of high school in Ace, Oklahoma, according to Country Fancast. They connected long before he got his big break in the country music scene and became famous, and although they got hitched in 2003, the marriage only lasted three years before they decided to get divorced.
Here are five things you should know about Kaynette and where she is now.
1.) She’s now an award-winning elementary school teacher. She worked as Blake’s road manager when he first started his music career in Nashville, TN, Country Fancast further reports, but after their divorce, she moved from Nashville back to Oklahoma. “After Blake and I split up, I moved from Tennessee back to Oklahoma,” she reportedly told The Enquirer in a rare 2011 interview. “But then Blake and [his second wife] Miranda [Lambert] moved back there to a neighboring town, and it just felt like Oklahoma wasn’t big enough for all of us.”
She’s now reportedly living a quiet life in Kansas while thriving in her work as a teacher.
2.) She’s married to rodeo champion Cody Joe Scheck. He currently holds the world record for steer roping, the outlet reported.
3.) It’s unclear whether or not she and Blake are friends today. Although Blake once compared his divorce from Kaynette to the pain he felt when his brother Richie died in a tragic car accident in 1990, it doesn’t appear that the former lovebirds kept in touch. “That was easily the toughest thing that I’ve been through,” he said about the divorce in a 2014 interview with 60 Minutes, according to Taste of Country. “I put my divorce up there with my brother’s death. That was a tough, tough call to make.”
4.) When filing for divorce, she reportedly accused Blake of “inappropriate marital conduct”. According to Country Fancast, the now ex-wife of the superstar claimed he was “guilty of” the “inappropriate marital conduct” and even reportedly tried to sell the Demetrios wedding gown she married him in on eBay at a starting bid of $700.
5.) Blake proposed to her in the middle of a hunting-filled day. “I asked her to marry me and she said yes and it was early one morning back in December, and we ended up spending the day with some friends and kind of having a party all day and had a good time. … I got in from hunting that morning, and asked her to marry me, and we went back out hunting,” he told CMT in 2003.
When they got married in a private ceremony, the smitten artist reportedly sang the classic song “Julia” by Conway Twitty to his bride.