in ,

Who is Ruston Kelly? The Interesting Career of Kacey Musgraves’ Ex

ruston kelly

He may be Kacey Musgraves’ ex-husband, but there is more to Ruston Kelly than that. As a singer and songwriter in his own right, Kelly first got into music when he was a teenager, honing his craft on the guitar, mandolin, and harmonica. His talent got the attention of one of the most prestigious music colleges in the country, Belmont University in Nashville, where he studied before breaking out into the country music scene. 

So, who is Ruston Kelly? Find out that and more below. 

When was Ruston Kelly Born?

Ruston Kelly’s birthdate is July 31, 1988. 

Ruston Kelly’s Zodiac sign is Leo, which means he is considered generous, loyal, creative, protective, and confident. Be careful, though. It can also mean that he could tend to be stubborn, possessive, inflexible, and lazy. 

ruston kelly

Where is Ruston Kelly From?

Ruston Kelly was born in Georgetown, South Carolina, but was moved around a lot as a kid because of his father’s job. The longest place he lived was Wyoming, Ohio, for eight years. 

Where Does Ruston Kelly Live?

Ruston Kelly currently resides in Nashville, Tennessee, where he continues to pursue his career as a singer-songwriter. 

How Tall is Ruston Kelly?

Ruston Kelly’s height is approximately 6 feet, 2 inches, meaning he towered over his ex-wife, Kacey Musgraves, who is a mere 5 feet, 5 inches tall. 

Related: Ruston Kelly Brings ‘The Weakness’ Tour to First Avenue

How Much Does Ruston Kelly Weigh?

Ruston Kelly’s weight is around 176 pounds. 

How Did Ruston Kelly Become Famous?

There’s nothing like truly making a name for yourself just because you fell in love and married country superstar Kacey Musgraves, best known for such songs as “Follow Your Arrow” and “Rainbow.” 

Related: Kacey Musgraves’ Net Worth

ruston kelly

Ruston Kelly’s Parents

Little is known about Ruston Kelly’s family, including the names of his parents. What is known is that his father worked at a paper mill. This job required the family to continually relocate every few years. 

Ruston Kelly’s Siblings

Ruston Kelly’s sister is his only known sibling. 

Who is Ruston Kelly Married To?

Ruston Kelly was married to “Merry Go ‘Round” singer Kacey Musgraves from 2017 to 2020. 

After announcing their divorce, the couple released a joint statement. 

“We believe that we were put into each other’s lives for a divine reason and have both changed each other infinitely for the better,” the statement read. “The love we have for each other goes far beyond the relationship we’ve shared as husband and wife. It’s a soul connection that can never be erased. … We hold no blame, anger, or contempt for each other, and we ask for privacy and positive wishes for us both as we learn how to navigate through this.”

How Did Kacey Musgraves and Ruston Kelly Meet?

Kacey Musgraves and Ruston Kelly met in March 2016 after performing at the Bluebird Café in Nashville. Going on a “songwriting” date shortly after, the pair were soon the next hot couple in the country music world. In fact, Musgraves has said in interviews that her hit song, “Butterflies,” featured on her Golden Hour album, is about their courtship. 

The pair were engaged by December 24, 2016, and were married 10 months later on October 14, 2017. 

Related: The Best Kacey Musgraves Songs

What Happened to Ruston Kelly and Kacey Musgraves?

As it often is with celebrity breakups, we only had the generic reasoning at the time of Ruston Kelly and Kacey Musgraves’ split, with public records citing “irreconcilable differences” as the culprit. However, Kelly later expanded on the problems in the couple’s marriage in a May 2023 interview with Spin, which Taste of Country cited.

Not long after their wedding, Kelly admitted that he had fallen back into his previous struggle with drugs. Although he was sober when they met, changing his ways after an overdose in 2015, he said he was back at it by December 2018. 

“I said to Kacey, ‘I don’t know what I’m doing. I don’t know why I did this,’” Kelly explained, noting that Musgraves was supportive when he fell off the wagon. “I was worried about hurting her. She said that we were going to figure it out.” While he did get sober again eventually, the marriage ultimately fell apart, despite his attempts to win the “Dime Store Cowgirl” singer back over.  

ruston kelly

Ruston Kelly’s Tattoos

Ruston Kelly doesn’t overdo it with the permanent ink, but he does have a few hidden gems on his body. The most visible are the tattoos on his arms, including what appears to be a flower and its growing leaves.  

Is Ruston Kelly a Country Singer?

While Ruston Kelly is primarily a country singer and songwriter, he has also delved into other genres over the years, including alternative country, Americana, and pop rock. 

What Songs Has Ruston Kelly Written?

Ruston Kelly has songwriting credits on a number of songs by some of the biggest names in country music. Most notably, he is a co-writer, alongside the late Kyle Jacobs and Joe Leathers, on Tim McGraw’s 2013 song, “Nashville Without You,” which was included on the singer’s Two Lanes of Freedom album. 

Some of Kelly’s other songwriting credits include “Tuesday Night” and “Front Row Seat” for the Josh Abbott Band, “Run of Good Luck” for Rob Baird, “Love is so Easy” for Hayes Carll, and “Just for the Record” for Lucie Silvas. 

Related: How Did Kyle Jacobs Die?

ruston kelly


Ruston Kelly may be best known for being the ex-husband of Kacey Musgraves, but the “Weeping Willow” singer has proven himself to be an artist in his own right over the years. 

Starting off as a songwriter with BMG Nashville and even getting a song by Tim McGraw, he earned his own record deal four years later with Razor & Tie’s Washington Square label. 

With a record deal under his belt, it was time for him to finally release his debut EP, Halloween, in 2017. He followed that up with his first full-length album, Dying Star, after signing with Rounder Records in 2018.

This album produced popular Ruston Kelly song “Mockingbird,” which peaked at number 25 on the Adult Alternative Airplay chart. That same year, Ruston Kelly’s tour, the Dying Star Fall Tour, began and lasted through 2019. It was his first headlining tour. 

Over the next few years, he continued to release music. Sophomore Ruston Kelly album Shape & Destroy came next in 2020, which featured fan favorites like “Brave.”  

His next tour, the Shape and Destroy Fall Tour, began in 2021. This was his only other headlining tour to date. That doesn’t mean he’s remained inactive, though. 

In fact, he has continued to release music, including his own version of “O Holy Night” in 2022 and later the song “The Weakness” in 2023, which peaked at number 36 on the Adult Alternative Airplay chart, to accompany his third studio album of the same name also released in 2023. 

While it hasn’t prompted another headlining tour, he did embark on a tour as the opening act on Noah Kahan’s The Stick Season Tour tour. 

Only time will tell what 2024 is going to bring for him. 

You May Also Like: 

Written by Katie Peterson

Katie Peterson received her bachelor's degree in English from the University of Saint Mary in Leavenworth in 2015. She has worked in journalism since 2015, beginning as production assistant and eventual head staff writer of the Fort Leavenworth Lamp newspaper in Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. Currently, she is a multimedia journalist with the Diocese of Nashville's Office of Media and Evangelization where she writes, does photography, and edits for several types of content, including the Tennessee Register, Catholic Awakenings, and She has also worked as a freelance journalist with the Archdiocese of Kansas City in Kansas's newspaper, The Leaven, since 2016.
In her spare time, Peterson enjoys reading, spending time with her pup, Sadie Lynn, singing and songwriting.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *





toby keith holding a blue guitar in front of a yellow background. best country music videos

15 Best Country Music Videos, Ranked

music videos with nudity a nude woman sitting on a beach

21 Music Videos with Nudity: The Sexiest Music Videos