Kellie Pickler is speaking out for the first time since her husband, Kyle Jacobs, died at age 49 in February.
“One of the most beautiful lessons my husband taught me was in a moment of a crisis, if you don’t know what to do, ‘do nothing, just be still.’ I have chosen to heed his advice,” Pickler, 37, said in a statement to People on Thursday, August 17. “Thank you to my family, friends, and supporters, for the countless letters, calls, and messages that you have sent my way. It has truly touched my soul and it’s helping me get through the darkest time in my life. As many of you have told me, you are all in my prayers.”
Pickler also shared her plans for Jacobs’ memorial service. “I am planning an intimate memorial for my husband, which will happen later this fall, that is what Kyle would have wanted,” she said.
The statement comes three months after a spokesperson for the Davidson Country Medical Examiner confirmed to E! News in May that Jacobs died by suicide. According to an autopsy report obtained by Taste of Country, the late country star had a history of “pseudoseizures, gastrointestinal bleeding, elevated liver enzymes and chronic alcohol use.” However, a toxicology report concluded that there were no signs of drugs in Jacobs’ system.
News broke on February 17 that the “More Than a Memory” songwriter died from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound at his and Pickler’s home.
“Mr. Jacobs’ wife, Kellie Pickler, reported that she awoke a short time earlier, did not see her husband, and began looking for him. After she and her personal assistant were unable to open the door to the upstairs bedroom/office, the assistant telephoned 911,” the Metropolitan Nashville Police said in a statement to Variety at the time.
The musicians met through mutual friends in 2008. Us Weekly confirmed that the couple got engaged in June 2010. “It’s true!” Pickler’s rep told Us at the time. “She’s super excited.”
The “Best Days of Your Life” songstress reflected on the romantic proposal in March 2017.
“One of the most special days in my life will always be June 15,” she wrote via Instagram at the time. “On that date in 2010, Kyle and I were in Rosemary Beach, [Florida], on what he told me was just a ‘vacation’ … That evening, after a romantic dinner, we took a sunset stroll on the beach … Little did I know, he had secretly planted a small wooden box in the sand.”
The Dancing With the Stars alum explained that inside the box was a journal Jacobs “had written for me,” an engagement ring and a seashell with her grandmother’s name written on it.
“What was so incredible is that Kyle didn’t realize that THAT day, was also my grandmother’s birthday. It was like my beautiful angel, the one I call mom, was giving us her blessing,” she shared. “So, Kyle and I like to celebrate June 15th as a couple … Still and forever crazy in love.”
Less than one year after getting engaged, the pair eloped in the Caribbean. “It was perfect, because we didn’t plan anything,” Pickler said of the low-key nuptials during a February 2011 appearance on the Ellen DeGeneres Show. “I packed the wedding dress and he packed an outfit. We flew there and we didn’t know what kind of cake we were going to get. We didn’t know what food we were going to have … it was the most incredible day of my life.”
After Jacobs’ death, Pickler’s former Pickler & Ben cohost, Ben Aaron, shared a moving tribute via Instagram.
“I never had a lot of guy friends because I was never a typical guy. It was always difficult for me to meet a pal. Then came Kyle, a package deal with my former work wife Kellie,” wrote Aaron, 41, noting that Pickler soon began to feel like “the third wheel” of the crew.
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He continued: “I loved Kyle because it was impossible not to. He was the ground in a world where most people float aimlessly. I wish someone like Kyle into the lives of everyone, he’s that guy you want with you when your world is crazy. … I will miss your warmth and scratchy cackle of a laugh, I’ll miss our random texts when we see some inappropriate sign or inside joke. But most of all, I’ll miss you, my friend.”