When Brantley Gilbert proposed earlier this month to his girlfriend of one year, fellow country artist Jana Kramer, he didn’t do it just anywhere. He chose Nashville’s famed Ryman Auditorium (home to the Grand Ole Opry for decades) as the setting.

Why the Ryman? As he told Heather Froglear and Kelli Green of Riverside, Calif. station KFRG during a video interview this week, the place has a special meaning for a few different reasons.

“We always said if it weren’t for country music we never would have met,” says Brantley.

“We met at the CMT Awards June 6 [in 2011], and I was actually going to propose to her on June 6. I told my mom about it and she let me in in a little information. She and my dad are divorced, and they had gotten married on June 6. And it’s also doomsday. So I decided not to do it [on that day].”

“As you can see,” he continues, “we kinda moved up the proposal. I couldn’t wait.”

On top of that, “we love the whole Johnny and June story,” he says, referring to Johnny Cash and June Carter Cash. At this point, he’s mumbling into his hand, perhaps embarrassed a bit that, as Kelli notices, he’s showing his “softer side.” Brantley admits that “a little bit” of that side might be peeking through, which is rare–“I don’t give much of it.”

As for the Ryman, “that’s where they met,” he says, referring to Johnny and June. “And it’s just a special place to us.”

Hear Jana Kramer tell her version of the engagement story (and find out who cried)

Brantley goes on to tell KFRG about his life with Jana, including how often they argue (“we really don’t fight that much”), who “cracks the whip” in the relationship (Brantley says the answer is written right on the back of his hat), who takes longer to get ready (no surprise there), and who is messier (that one might surprise you).

Watch the full set of video interviews with Brantley Gilbert on KFRG

Brantley Gilbert’s latest single is “More Than Miles,” and Jana Kramer’s is “Whiskey.” Both are also in the running for the ACM’s fan-voted category of New Artist of the Year (cast your vote here).

– Michael Trobisch, KFRG/Riverside and Kurt Wolff, Radio.com


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