Kellie Pickler Returning to the Stage After Husband’s Death


Kellie Pickler has remained out of the spotlight since the tragic death of her husband, acclaimed Nashville songwriter Kyle Jacobs, in February of 2023. But the country singer and television personality is set to return to the stage on April 22 for a very special show at Nashville’s historic Ryman Auditorium.

Pickler is one of the artists announced as part of the all-star lineup for Walkin’ After Midnight: The Music of Patsy Cline.

The tribute to Cline’s life and musical legacy will also include Ashley McBryde, Beverly D’Angelo, Crystal Gayle, Dailey & Vincent, Grace Potter, Home Free, Kristin Chenoweth, Mickey Guyton, Mandy Barnett, Natalie Grant, Rita Wilson, Tanya Tucker, Pam Tillis, Wynonna Judd and Pat Benatar and Neil Giraldo.

The Ryman announced Pickler’s addition to the lineup in a tweet on March 18:

It’s unclear what Pickler is set to perform at the live tribute to Cline, who scored a long string of classic hits including “Always,” “I Fall to Pieces,” “She’s Got You,” “Walkin’ After Midnight” and “Crazy” before her untimely death in a plane crash on March 5, 1963, at the age of 30.

Pickler has made no secret of Cline’s influence, previously performing “Walkin’ After Midnight” toward the end of her run on Season 5 of American Idol in 2006.

The appearance marks Pickler’s first public gig since her 49-year-old songwriter and producer husband died by suicide at their Nashville home on Feb. 17, 2023. According to an analysis Taste of Country obtained from the Davidson Country Medical Examiner, Kyle Jacobs died from a self-inflicted shotgun wound. Jacobs’ toxicology results revealed no drugs in his system at the time of his death.

Pickler maintained public silence for months after her husband’s death before issuing a statement on Aug. 17, 2024:

“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,” Pickler told People. “I have chosen to heed his advice.”

She added:

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.

Tickets to Walkin’ After Midnight: The Music of Patsy Cline are available via the Ryman’s website.

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