Country Star and Partner Reveal Engagement

Country music star Ty Herndon shared some exciting news with fans the week before Valentine's Day. He and his partner, Alex, are getting married. Herndon, 60, introduced Alex in a Feb. 9 Instagram post, six months after their first date. The Meridian, Mississippi native's big hits include "Living in a Moment," "It Must Be Love," "A Man Holdin' On (To a Woman Lettin' Go)" and "Hands of a Working Man."

Herndon shared a trio of black-and-white photos with Alex. "Well y'all, I have a little news to share – actually some big news," Herndon began in the caption. "The last six months God has showed up and showed out. Never in a million years would I have imagined meeting someone who would bring so much love and light into my heart."

The singer and Alex met six months ago, but they decided to build their relationship without making a public announcement until now. "It was important to each of us that we be able to do this privately, and it has been an amazing journey," Herndon wrote. "After all this time, I have met the person I know I'm gonna spend the rest of my life with."

He shared only a few details about Alex's life. He is a "brilliant artist and craftsman" who restores furniture and makes stained-glass art. He is also working on earning an MBA. "He's a smartie, y'all – and I can't wait for all of you to get to know him," Herndon wrote. "Today, we are excited to let you know that we are planning a wedding! That's right – we're getting hitched later this year! Here's to life, love, and wellness! We'll see y'all soon."

On Valentine's Day, Herndon shared more photos with Alex, including a picture of his proposal. "Happy [Valentine's Day] to this one! And to all of you too," he wrote.

Herndon was married to Renee Posey from 1993 to 2002. In 2014, he came out as gay in a PEOPLE interview, making him the first mainstream male country artist to do so. Four years before his interview, he began a relationship with Matt Collum. They split in 2021 after 10 years together. In a new interview with PEOPLE to mark the release of his album Jacob last year, Herndon said coming out saved his life.

Herndon also discussed his addiction to crystal meth, which he described as a "pandemic of my soul" and a "destruction of my brain." After a relapse, he considered taking his own life on New Year's Eve 2020. He had 27 Ambien tablets in hand. He told PEOPLE that he doesn't know why he didn't follow through. All he knows is that he called a friend and he later went back into treatment for addiction and was diagnosed as bipolar.