The Life After "Strawberry Wine": Deana Carter — Once a Popular Country Star but Now Forgotten

Salwa Nadeem
Aug 17, 2021
08:40 P.M.
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Once a popular country star but now forgotten, Deana Carter rose to fame because of her melodious country songs. Every music fan from the 1990s would know how people were crazy after Carter's voice. She had a huge fan base back in the day, but only a few people know what's been going on in her life lately.


It wasn't easy for Carter to make her place in the growing country music industry. It took a lot of time and effort for her to reach the height of her career as a country music star. She never gave up despite the unfavorable circumstances and ended up giving some of the best country songs of all time.

After being married for the third time, Carter is living with her husband Jim McPhail, who she met through her friends in 2017. The couple fell in love with each other as they spent time together and decided to tie the knot a year later in an intimate ceremony in Florida. From her previous relationship, Carter has a 16-year-old son, Gray Hayes Hicky.

Deana's Journey To Fame


Daughter of the famous Fred Carter Jr., Deana Carter, was born on January 4, 1966, in Nashville, Tennessee, USA. Because Deana's father was a talented guitarist, she grew up in an environment that supported learning music and met some of the best musicians of that time. Despite the favorable circumstances, Deana wasn't able to sign a deal in her early years, so she left music to pursue another career.

She got into the University of Tennessee to study nursing where she would sing songs without thinking about making a career in music. After studying nursing, she stepped into multiple hospitals to earn a living but soon realized that she was made for something else. Something that came to her naturally.


At the age of 23, Deana decided to pursue music as her career. She learned how to play guitar and also wrote songs in her free time while working odd jobs to earn a living. Luckily, Willie Nelson heard her voice through one of her recorded tapes, and he decided to give her a chance to sing in front of a large audience at Farm Aid VII in 1994. Her performance paved way for her and she signed a contract with Capitol Nashville.

Carter released her debut album "Did I Shave My Legs For This?" in 1996, which became popular amongst country music fans within no time. The album included Carter's debut single "Strawberry Wine" which made it to the top of Billboard Hot Country Singles & Tracks that year. 1996 was the year when Carter got her big break.


Two years later, Carter's second album "Everything's Gonna Be Alright" was released and the listeners loved the single "Absence of the Heart" from that album. It ranked 16th on Billboard Hot Country Singles & Tracks. In 2001, Carter's memorable album "Father Christmas" was released in which she performed while her father accompanied her as a guitarist.

Then followed her albums "I'm Just A Girl" in 2003, "The Story of My Life" in 2005, and "The Chain" in 2007. It wasn't until six years later that Carter released a new album. Her fans had to face the long wait because of something that had been happening in Carter's personal life.


Her Son's Birth

Carter tied the knot with Chris DiCroce and divorced him in 2001. She then got married for the second time to Brandon Malone, but things didn't work out and she got divorced in 2012. Between her marriages, Carter gave birth to her son, Gray Hayes Hicky, who was from her boyfriend Chris Hicky.

Her son's birth had come as a break in her career. She changed her priorities after his birth and focused more on caring for him. She didn't release any album for six years because she was spending time with Gray. She didn't want to "miss all of his ball games and plays and stuff like that."


Carter revealed that the birth of her son had changed her life. It made her become closer to her religion and think about the things that she was blessed with. "I feel like Hayes really saved my life, and God used him to pull me back into having my priorities straight, getting back on track, and all that. So the songs came around and became more positive," she said.

Carter's last release was "Southern Way of Life" which came out in 2013 after she spent time with her son. The songs show that she still has the same spark as she had in 1996 when her first album was released.


Deana Carter And Jim McPhail

2017 has been a lucky year for Deana Carter since she met Jim McPhail that year. The two met through some mutual friends and instantly developed an attraction towards each other. They remained friends for quite some time until they decided to tie the knot on July 6, 2018.

Carter wore a beautiful white dress with lace detailing on the neckline while McPhail accompanied her with a tan coat over a white shirt paired with royal blue pants. The couple looked beautiful as they said their vows in an intimate ceremony.


Carter and McPhail both agreed that it was a "special time for them" and that they are "extremely blessed to have met each other during this season of their lives." Since they have homes in different cities, the couple has decided to live in both cities from time to time.

Live Performances

Carter has been performing live at several locations and her fans never disappoint her. She has been uploading photos from her concerts showing how big of a crowd shows up everywhere that she performs. Moreover, she also keeps her followers updated about where she will be performing next.

Carter also partnered with the Academy of Country Music (ACM) in their "Cameo Goes Country" campaign that raised funds for ACM Lifting Lives. The campaign went live on June 2, 2021, and people interacted with Carter and many other stars to raise funds for a greater cause. It showed how the power of music can help improve lives.


It looks like the "Strawberry Wine" star isn't going to slow down anytime soon. Her old fans might have forgotten her but she's making sure to stay in the limelight through her road tours. If you want to stay updated on Carter's life, then you should follow her on Instagram. We're sure her posts and stories will never disappoint you.

Carter splits her time between Los Angeles, Nashville, and Florida while writing country and pop songs. She wrote a song with Matraca Berg called "You & Tequila" that got nominated for CMA's "Song of the Year," showing how the country music star is still writing good songs. She's also focused on making movies and producing songs as much as she can.

If you enjoyed reading about Carter's life and what she's doing these days, you might also want to read about the country singer Ed Bruce's death at the age of 81.

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