Luke Combs and Nicole Hocking's Relationship Timeline
After meeting at a music festival in 2016, Combs and Hocking quickly started dating. They announced their engagement in 2018, and soon after, Combs released a sweet love song inspired by his bride-to-be.
Since then, Combs has dedicated several romantic songs to Hocking, whom he married in 2020. In January 2022, the couple announced they were expecting their first child. They welcomed a son, Tex Lawrence, on Father's Day in June 2022.
From their initial connection to their growing family, here's a look at all of the details of Luke Combs and Nicole Hocking's relationship.
January 2016: Luke Combs and Nicole Hocking meet at a music festival
Combs and Hocking are both from Nashville, but they met by chance at the 30A Songwriters Festival in Santa Rosa Beach, Florida. Soon after they returned to their home city, they started dating.
"I could tell she was different than anybody I had ever met," Combs later told Nashville Lifestyles.
Hocking added, "I realized we could hang out and just be ourselves in front of each other. I could wear no makeup and be my weird self — because we're all weird, but we get to choose who to share that side of us with. We could be each other's weird in front of each other. That's when it was like, 'You know what? This guy's a keeper.' "
When they met, Combs was still a relatively unknown artist. He later told PEOPLE there "was no publishing deal, no record deal, no booking deal." He added that no one thought the two would last, saying, "Everybody was like, 'Yeah, this is never gonna work' and so I didn't have anything when we met."
November 29, 2018: Luke Combs and Nicole Hocking announce their engagement
It didn't take long for Combs and Hocking to take things a step further. Around two years after they met, the couple announced their engagement on Instagram.
Combs posted a photo of Hocking wearing an engagement ring while vacationing in Hawaii and wrote, "She said yes a while ago but this is a much better place to take pictures than the kitchen. Can't wait to spend forever with you! I love you!"
Hocking added, "You're stuck with me forever!! I love you so much, babe."
December 3, 2018: Luke Combs releases a hit single about Nicole Hocking
A few days later, Combs released his single "Beautiful Crazy," which he said was inspired by Hocking. The musician had initially debuted the song on Facebook two years earlier, and the sweet track had become a viral favorite among his fans. The song gained even more traction after its official release and went on to win Song of the Year at the 2019 CMA Awards.
Combs toldNashville Lifestyles that his friend sent him a poem titled "Crazy Beautiful."
"The next time we wrote together I had this overflow of feelings about [Nicole] so when I started writing, the lines just came out of the things that we did," he shared.
Hocking was touched, saying, "It made me a little bit shy, but it was awesome. Everyone wants to have a song written about them!"
May 1, 2019: Luke Combs and Nicole Hocking adopt a puppy
In the spring of 2019, Combs and Hocking expanded their family when they adopted a black puppy named Jojo.
Hocking posted a few adorable photos of the new pup on Instagram with the caption, "Welcome to the family, Jojo 🐶💙 My heart is so full!! (swipe for the cutest photo you'll ever see of Luke going to pick him up)."
August 1, 2020: Luke Combs and Nicole Hocking get married
After a two-year engagement, Combs and Hocking tied the knot. A rep told PEOPLE that the couple married at their home in southern Florida surrounded by family. "Despite the threat of a hurricane, the couple had a lovely intimate ceremony and will be celebrating with friends and family in the new year," the rep said.
In a post on Instagram, Combs wrote that it was "the best day of [his] life." He added, "I got to marry my best friend. I love you @nicohocking, here's to forever."
In her own Instagram post, Hocking wrote, "Yesterday was the most special day!! I'm so happy to spend the rest of my life with you! Although we wish we could have had every single one of our friends & family there, we can't wait to celebrate with everyone next year! So excited to share more of this day soon. Much love!"
September 16, 2020: Luke Combs performs a song inspired by Nicole Hocking at the ACM Awards
At the September 2020 Academy of Country Music Awards, Combs performed his song "Better Together" live from Nashville's Bluebird Cafe. Combs said that the song was inspired by Hocking.
"It's just going to be me and a piano so that'll be a lot different than anything I've ever done on television before," he told PEOPLE ahead of his performance. "I'm excited to see what people think about it and to just have a good time and make the best of the interesting situation that we find ourselves in today."
That same night, Combs took home the award for album of the year for his LP What You See Is What You Get.
October 23, 2020: Luke Combs dedicates another song to Nicole Hocking
Two months after getting married, Combs wrote yet another love song for his wife. The country star released his song "Forever After All" from his deluxe album What You See Ain't Always What You Get.
The song included lyrics like, "They say nothing lasts forever / But they ain't seen us together / Or the way the moonlight dances in your eyes / Just a t-shirt in the kitchen / With no makeup and a million / Other things that I could look at my whole life / A love like that makes a man have second thoughts / Maybe some things last forever after all."
March 2021: Luke Combs talks about writing "Beautiful Crazy" for Nicole Hocking
A few years after "Beautiful Crazy" came out, Combs talked about writing the sweet song for Hocking, admitting he did so not long after they met.
While guest starring on Lindsay Czarniak's podcast The Artist and The Athlete, Combs said that he wrote the song "probably like three, four months" after they met.
"I wrote that song about my wife before we were even dating [and it ended up being] the first dance at our wedding," he explained. "There's no way that any other song will top that as far as sentimental value for me."
He went on to say that he remembered the first time he played it for her, recalling, "Oh, she loved it. She always deflects the attention [she felt] in that [moment], which I get. If someone played me a song about me [three, four months in], I would be probably pretty uncomfortable about it. So I get it."
He called it a "total baller move for sure," saying, "I'm not much of a ladies' man. But I was pretty proud of this one. I had written it, maybe two days before [I played it for her]."
November 10, 2021: Luke Combs apologizes for not thanking Nicole Hocking at the CMAs
When Combs won Entertainer of the Year at the 55th Annual CMA Awards, he took the stage and said he felt he was "at a loss for words." Stunned by his win, Combs thanked his fans and his fellow artists, but he didn't mention Hocking.
He rectified that later in the night when speaking with Access. "I did forget to thank my wife out there, which, babe, I love you, you know I love you," he said. "I don't even have to say it, you know I love you."
January 20, 2022: Luke Combs and Nicole Hocking announce they're expecting a baby
Combs and Hocking started off 2022 with an exciting announcement: Hocking's pregnancy. In an Instagram post full of sweet maternity photos of the two, Combs wrote, "Here we go y'all! Lil dude Combs is coming this Spring! Couldn't be more excited to start a family with this babe. It's gonna be a hell of a ride."
Hocking shared her own photos, along with a sonogram, writing, "This may be the best year yet! baby BOY combs coming spring 2022!! we are so incredibly excited and thankful."
February 14, 2022: Luke Combs shares a Valentine's Day tribute to Nicole Hocking
Not long after their pregnancy announcement, Combs used Valentine's Day as an excuse to express his love for Hocking. In an Instagram post of a photo of the two of them, Combs wrote, "Happy Valentine's Day to this amazing woman. Getting to spend everyday [sic] with you is a blessing I will never take for granted. Thank you for making me laugh, making me smile, being there for me, and loving me for who I am."
He added, "I can't wait to raise our family with you and spend a whole lot of more years together. I Love You @nicolejcombs."
She replied, "This night 😂 haha I love you so much!!"
February 22, 2022: Luke Combs and Nicole Hocking prepare to welcome their baby
During an appearance at the Grand Ole Opry, Combs said that he and Hocking were busy preparing the nursery for their new baby.
"I'm a little nervous," he said. "I got a lot of stuff to do. I got a lot on my plate … I'm uncovering things every day. I'm buying all kinds of clothes I didn't know existed."
"It's a lot of stuff, man," he went on. "I didn't know what a bassinet was. But that's a thing apparently. A lot of new words I'm learning."
Combs also said he had reached out to some of his friends to get parenting tips and joked, "It's more like, 'What do I need to be doing right now?' I realized the baby just doesn't need me at all. I'm just there to clean stuff. It comes out and it's like, 'Why are you mouth breathing all over me? I don't need you to be around.' "
April 12, 2022: Luke Combs teases the name of the baby boy he and Nicole Hocking are expecting
Combs dropped a few hints about what he and Hocking were planning on naming their new arrival when talking to Audacy's Rob + Holly at Tortuga Music Festival.
"[The name] is tight-lipped, but we are in talks. There's a shortlist," he said. He teased that the name "rhymes with orange" and "rhymes with purple."
"There's a theme. I'm good," he added.
June 19, 2022 : Luke Combs and Nicole Hocking welcome their first child
Combs and Hocking's first child, a son named Tex Lawrence, was born on Father's Day in June 2022. The new parents announced the happy news on Instagram a few days after Tex's birth, with Hocking writing, "It's going to be hard to top this past Father's Day 🥲 Welcome to the world, Tex Lawrence Combs. You are the best chillest angel boy and I'm so happy I was chosen to be your mom. These are the days 🤍."
In a post of his own, the country artist said, "Welp he decided that Fathers Day would be a good time to show up. I couldn't agree more. Me and @nicolejcombs are over the moon in love with this little guy. Mama and baby are healthy and we're back home now with family. Life is good. Everyone welcome Tex Lawrence Combs to the world!"