Little Big Town‘s Kimberly Schlapman found love at one of the most unexpected times in her life, while she was mourning the loss of her first husband, Steven Roads, who passed away in 2005 from a heart attack while Little Big Town was on the road. His passing was a shock to Schlapman, who relied on her friends — including Stephen Schlapman — to help her cope with the devastating loss
“I wasn’t planning on falling in love, at all,” Schlapman tells UMG. “I didn’t want to … I wasn’t sure that I ever would. So, my husband now and I were just really good friends, and after my late husband died all my friends were calling me, all the time. Just checking up on me. He was just an old friend. We had known each other for about six years and he started calling me just like everybody else did.
“But, he started calling me more than everybody else did,” she continues with a laugh. “We had both been through similar losses. He hadn’t lost a mate but he had lost a close friend, so we kind of bonded over that. I grieved, kind of, at him a lot. He took my grief; I had a lot of grief left, and he just took it and listened and accepted it and was so understanding and let me talk about my late husband all the time.”
The singer admits she was ill-prepared when she started having feelings for Stephen, especially while mourning the loss of her late husband.
“I was shocked,” Schlapman admits. “I remember when I first realized that I was having feelings. I just thought, ‘OK, this is so weird. What is this? I haven’t felt this in a long, long, time. This is weird.’ But, eventually, I allowed myself and it’s been the most beautiful gift of my life. It pulled me out of the deepest hole that I’ve ever been in and healed me.”
Once Schlapman started dating again, it didn’t take long for her to realize she wanted to spend the rest of her life with Stephen, with the couple tying the knot in 2006. But even though she is happily married, she still mourns the loss of Roads.
“We still talk about him a lot, and he’s totally fine with it,” Schlapman says. “He says that that made me who he fell in love with and he never minds if I bring anything from the past up, which is just really sweet.”