Ricky Skaggs + Sharon White — Country’s Greatest Love Stories
Ricky Skaggs and Sharon White are successful musicians in their own right — Skaggs has been a huge name in the country world for many years, while White is the lead singer of the country music band the Whites — but when they make music together, it's clear that their love was destined to happen.
The couple married on Aug. 4, 1981, and, true to their love of music, they didn't have a unity candle; instead, they had a unity song: Townes Van Zandt's "If I Needed You."
"Our pastor said, 'What if you did your unity candle symbol in songs rather than candles? He sings one to you, you to him, and you sing together,'" White recalls to Billboard. "We liked that idea, and this was the one we sang together. We had no idea how hard it was going to be to do. We were both very emotional."
In 1986, Skaggs and White teamed up for the first time on a record, releasing "Love Can't Ever Get Better Than This." Fans fell head over heels for the song, and it even won the couple a CMA Award for Vocal Duo of the Year. The exceptionally positive response got the idea of a duets album percolating, but the plan never panned out -- until 2014, that is, when the husband and wife released a duets album, Hearts Like Ours.
"Now, to have been married 33 years, and what we've been through together with children and each other, as well as the way we've grown as people and as Christians, our faith has grown, I feel like we really have something to sing about," says Skaggs.
It's almost impossible to think of Skaggs and White singing about anything but love together. After all, they're still fully committed to their love story today.
"The kind of songs we wanted to do as duets were really based on love and commitment," Skaggs explains. "We wanted to celebrate the commitment we've had to each other."
So, how does a couple stay together so long in a culture where divorce is almost commonplace? The best advice Skaggs and White have for other couples is to never go to bed angry, according to Christianity Today. They cite dinner and a movie as well as mini-vacations to the mountains or the beach as their favorite kind of date, and they always make sure to talk with one another.
After singing together at a wedding in 2014, White and Skaggs shared some advice with the newly married couple: "You fell in love with him the way he is for a reason. You were drawn to him. Celebrate that, and be thankful for that, and don't be trying to change each other," White says, recalling her advice to the newlyweds to Rolling Stone Country. "And number two: Be quick to forgive, and be quick to say, 'I'm sorry,' because none of us are perfect."
And that's how a love story ends happily ever after.