Scotty McCreery has found his forever “Southern Belle." The country star proposed to longtime girlfriend Gabi Dugal Tuesday (September 26).
McCreery and his soon-to-be wife — who plan to wed in 2018 — have known each other since childhood, having first met in kindergarten in Garner, North Carolina. They began dating during their senior year of high school, nearly six years ago.
“I've been planning this moment for so long that it feels surreal for it to have finally happened," the “Five More Minutes" singer said of the romantic proposal. “Gabi is the perfect girl and my true love, and I cannot wait to begin building our life together as husband and wife."
McCreery popped the question at one of the couple's favorite places — the picturesque mountains of North Carolina near Grandfather Mountain. The American Idol Season 10 winner asked his now-future wife to accompany him on a hike on their most-loved trail. Once the couple reached the top of the mountain, he got down on one knee, and presented Dugal with a stunning diamond sparkler he helped design.
The singer publicly opened up about his relationship with Dugal in his 2016 book, “Go Big or Go Home: The Journey Towards the Dream." McCreery's fans were immediately supportive of the couple's love.
“My fans instantly embraced Gabi once they learned we were dating and have always been loving towards her," said a grateful McCreery. “When she graduated college last year, many of them brought me gifts for her at my shows and book signings. I will always appreciate their kindness to her."
Dugal is currently a pediatric cardiac nurse at Duke University Hospital. She graduated from the University of North Carolina in May 2016, and the ACM winner proudly shared a photo of the new graduate rocking her cap and gown in an Instagram post at the time.
Back in July, McCreery hinted at the possibility of an impending proposal in an Instagram post featuring a photo of the couple at a wedding reception.
In addition to wedding planning, the “Feelin' It" singer — who opened for Garth Brooks in Sioux Falls, South Dakota last week — is working a new album, set to be released next year on his new label, Triple Tigers Records / Sony Music Entertainment.