Bruce Robison and Kelly Willis, the ‘First Couple of Texas Country,’ Announce Divorce
Bruce Robison and Kelly Willis, a pair often referred to as the "First Couple of Texas Country," have announced that their relationship has come to an end.
In a Jan. 21 post shared by Willis and Robison on their official social media pages, the couple reiterated their love and respect for one another, even as they part ways romantically.
"Hello folks, we have something we need to share with you," the statement reads. "After a lot of thought and work, we have decided to end our marriage. The two of us, now and always, love each other very much. Though this is hard, we are looking forward to our lives together as parents of our four beautiful kids. Our lives are so entwined we know we will work together, be a family together and continue to be in each other's corner as we try to embrace whatever else this crazy world brings. Peace and love. Bruce and Kelly."
Robison and Willis married in 1996 and have four children together, two sons, Joseph Willis and Deral Otis, and twins Abigail Esme and Benjamin James. Over the years, they've recorded four albums together, Happy Holidays (2003), Cheaters Game (2013), Our Year (2014) and Beautiful Lies (2019).
Willis' career first took off in the early 1990s after being signed by MCA, earning success with her early singles "Baby Take a Piece of My Heart," "Whatever Way the Wind Blows" and her cover version of "Heaven's Just a Sin Away," and leading her to a nomination for Top Female Vocalist of the Year at the 1993 ACM Awards. After parting ways with her label, Willis hit a lasting stride in the mid-1990s by embracing a more organic sound that helped solidify her as one of the pillars of the alt-country and Americana movements.
Robison has also been a staple of the Texas and alt-country scenes for decades, consistently releasing stellar solo work while also penning major hits for other country stars. Some of his writing credits include The Chicks' "Travelin' Soldier," George Strait's "Wrapped," and "Angry All the Time," which became a major hit for Faith Hill and Tim McGraw in 2001. Robison and Willis released their own version of "Angry All the Time" as a single in 1998. He is also the founder of The Next Waltz, a Texas-based analog studio and record label that has worked with an array of alt-country and Americana artists, including Turnpike Troubadours, Jack Ingram and Charley Crockett among others.
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