If you’re a loyal member of Bachelor Nation (or even if you aren’t), you’re probably aware that one of this season’s fan favorites has been making more than a few waves. I mean, who really expects that appearing on a reality dating show while still dating someone from back home will win you any fans? Personally, though, I think the person we should really be talking about is Haley Stevens, The Bachelorette‘s Jed Wyatt’s ex.
According to Stevens, she and Wyatt were in a relationship for four months before he became a contestant on the show. Wyatt reportedly told Stevens that he would be using the opportunity to promote his music, and they planned on staying together. As sketchy as that sounds, it actually gets worse: He was accused of cheating on Stevens before even appearing on the show, and then she claims he ghosted her after he left. Ouch. (Elite Daily previously reached out to Wyatt’s rep for comment, but did not hear back in time for publication.)
Just like Wyatt, Stevens is a musician. As Stevens tells Elite Daily, she and Wyatt first met at a writer’s round (where songwriters sit in a circle and take turns singing their songs) in Nashville, where they both live. But when asked if she and Wyatt ever had any plans to collaborate together, she says no. "We have very different styles musically," she explains.
So what is Stevens’ style? The artist grew up in Arkansas and has loved country music all of her life. "My parents kept the likes of George Strait, Travis Tritt, and Dwight Yoakam playing in the house my entire childhood," Stevens tells Elite Daily, "and that love of country music carried over into my songwriting and music as a whole as I made this my career." At 15, Stevens began playing guitar and writing songs, and at 16, Stevens began traveling to Nashville multiple times a year to "write, play, and meet with as many people as possible."
Stevens continued performing while attending Auburn University in Alabama, playing at local bars and music venues whenever she got the chance. By 2015, she relocated to Nashville for good, and by 2017, she was playing music full-time. "It was the most terrifying decision to walk away from the comfort of a guaranteed paycheck," she explains, "but the uncertainty of my new career path forced me to work harder than ever before." Of course, it also helps when you aren’t taking on the challenge solo — Stevens is one-half of the music duo Sweet Leah, which she formed with fellow Nashville-based artist Julia Kate Snow.
Stevens and Snow first met at a Wade Bowen concert. As Snow tells Elite Daily, "I saw this girl beside me singing every word to every song and I knew then that we were meant to be friends." And they did become friends, though it wasn’t until a year later that they founded their duo. "We always had this chemistry on stage," Stevens explains. "Our harmonies were shocking even from the first time we were on stage together." While on an acoustic tour together throughout Texas, fans would approach the two artists after shows and tell that that, while they were talented separately, they were really special when they performed together. That tour inspired Stevens and Snow to continue their music careers together as Sweet Leah.
Also like Wyatt, Stevens’ music is not nearly as traditionally country-sounding as you would expect from a Nashville-based artist. According to Stevens and Snow, Sweet Leah is "rock-and-roll with Southern soul," and I couldn’t have described their sound more accurately if I tried. When asked about who they look to for musical inspiration, Stevens says, "Stevie Ray Vaughn, Marshall Tucker Band, The Eagles, and Bonnie Raitt, as well as more contemporary acts Cadillac 3, Whiskey Myers, Kacey Musgraves, and Maren Morris." As Wyatt has said his own sound is influenced by "blues, soul, and indie music," I understand why Stevens doesn’t see a collab in their future (besides whatever went down between them romantically).
So does Stevens consider herself a member of Bachelor Nation? "I have watched [the show] sporadically over the years," she says. However, whether she’ll be tuning in with me to watch the Final Rose Ceremony (and watch Wyatt’s inevitable roast) is still up for question. I have a feeling that Stevens’ biggest priority right now is the music, not the drama.
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