Kellie Pickler and Kyle Jacobs' Relationship Timeline: From Eloping in 2011 to His Tragic Death

Jacobs died Friday in the couple's Nashville home.

Kellie Pickler became one of America's sweethearts following her rise on American Idol in 2006. In season 5 she finished in sixth place before launching what would become a successful career as a country music artist. Pickler and Kyle Jacobs would soon became a formidable force as a singer-songwriter power couple.

From her own reality TV show to appearing on Family Feud and Dancing With the Stars, Pickler always had an adoring look on her angelic face whenever she spoke of Jacobs. Tragically, Jacobs was found dead at the couple's Nashville home on Friday. He was 49.

The Metropolitan Nashville Police Department told ET that, after being called to the home, they discovered Jacobs "deceased from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound in an upstairs bedroom/office." Police added that "his death is being investigated as an apparent suicide."

Following the unexpected death, ET takes a look back at Pickler and Jacobs' relationship.

She hit on him at a bar in Nashville 

Pickler loves telling this story, and her eyes beamed when she retold it during a November 2015 appearance on The Real.

According to Pickler, she was at a bar in Nashville with friends when she spotted him, walked up to him and started chatting him up. Pickler admits, she's the one who shot her shot.

"I was out with a friend of ours -- we had mutual friends -- and I look across the room and I see this guy, Kyle. I didn't know who he was or what he did. We just locked eyes and I went, 'I gotta know everything about this person.'"

It turns out, one of her friends was actually friends with Jacobs. Long story short, they ended up getting lost in their own conversation. By the time they looked up, their circle of friends were gone and the bar had emptied out.

Meeting Clint Eastwood in 2010 

After numerous appearances, Pickler once again appeared on The Ellen DeGeneres Show in November 2010, this time as an engaged woman. For the umpteenth time, DeGeneres had told Pickler she would try to get her to meet one of her idols, Clint Eastwood.

It finally happened on this episode. And when Eastwood surprised her, she ended up sitting on his lap, and that's when Pickler jokingly told the famed actor-director not to pay attention to her engagement ring!

After Eastwood left, DeGeneres complimented Pickler's engagement ring and she wanted to talk about Jacobs, prompting Pickler to jokingly reply, "Oh, we don't have to talk about him!"

Then she gushed about him.

"In all honesty, I have been so blessed with the most amazing man ever," she said at the time. "His name is Kyle. He is such a man of God. He's so amazing. He has showed me what love is, what love really is. I've never been treated so respectfully. I've never been treated so loved the way he loves me. And it's so important to find that and never settle with a loser." 

They eloped in 2011 

It's no secret the couple ended up eloping rather than going through with an extravagant wedding in Nashville. Some 200-plus guests were slated to attend the nuptials, but Pickler told Kelly Clarkson on her daytime talk show that it just wasn't in the cards to have a grand wedding, and it helped that the couple forgot to send out wedding invitations.

"We had this whole big wedding planned in Nashville and the only thing we failed to do was send invitations out," she recalled in 2019 on The Kelly Clarkson Show. "So I’m looking at the guest list and I’m going, ‘Hell, I don’t even like half of the people, and I don’t even know the rest.’ Because you invite this person and that person and then you gotta … it becomes this big ordeal.  And it felt like a CMA after party, you know? I’m just like, this is a big production. So I said, ‘Baby, let’s just run away.’ And he goes, ‘Whew, thought you’d never ask.’”

Pickler says the couple didn't tell anyone about their plans to elope, but they were so happy they followed through with it.

"So, we didn’t tell anybody and just ran off," she said. "It was so perfect for us. Everybody has to do what’s right for them."

The Kelly Clarkson Show / YouTube

Their honeymoon was in ... Baghdad

Yes, really. It turns out, Pickler had already committed to doing a USO event in Baghdad, and there was no way this southern gal was going to go back on her word.

"We said I do and then hopped on a plane and flew overseas to Iraq," she told Clarkson. "We spent our honeymoon there. All of the soldiers at each spot where we would stay at had a 'honeymoon' suite for us. It was the funniest thing."


I Love Kellie Pickler premieres in 2015

Almost five years after their marriage, Pickler and Jacobs launched their 13-episode reality TV show on CMT. It premiered on Nov. 5, 2015, and from the get-go Pickler wanted to make sure this show wasn't so celebrity obsessed, but more about her community.

During an appearance on The Steve Harvey Show, Pickler and Jacobs were asked why they wanted to do a reality TV show at this point in their marriage.

"For us, we are so blessed and we just want to be a bright light in the world," Pickler said. "We want to laugh and have fun and live. There's a big difference between being alive and living."

Pickler also said she wanted to shine a light the people in their community and highlight their talents. 

Pickler and Jacobs on Family Feud

During that same November 2015 interview with Steve Harvey, Jacobs couldn't contain his excitement after Harvey invited the couple to appear on their favorite game show, Family Feud.

Harvey got a huge kick out of Jacobs' reaction to the invitation. And it wasn't just lip service from Harvey. He followed through on his invitation. Pickler, Jacobs and her family appeared on Celebrity Family Feud in June 2016 and faced off against Lance Bass and his family.

He loved her laugh, he was her treasure 

One of the highlights from the reality show was watching the couple gush over each other, and it happened often.

During one confessional, Jacobs offered what it was he loved the most about Pickler.

"One of my favorite things about Kellie is just the way she looks at life," he said. "She just loves to laugh. She just doesn't take things too seriously."

Pickler succinctly described her love for Jacobs.

"Kyle is by far my greatest treasure," she said. "I'd be absolutely lost without him."

Tragedy strikes Feb. 17

The Academy of Country Music spoke out on Twitter after news of Jacobs' death broke.

"The Academy is deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Kyle Jacobs, a talented Nashville songwriter & producer and the husband of Kellie Pickler," they tweeted. "In 2014 Jacobs won an ACM Award as producer of Lee Brice's "I Drive Your Truck." Join us in sending condolences, love & healing."

Country Music Television also tweeted, writing, "Our thoughts and prayers are with Kellie Pickler and the rest of the Jacobs family."

Jacobs was a songwriter, having penned tracks for stars including Tim McGraw and Kelly Clarkson.

He was 49.

If you or anyone you know is having thoughts of suicide, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or go to