Zach Bryan and Brianna Chickenfry made their relationship public in July 2023
Country singer Zach Bryan and podcast host Brianna Chickenfry's relationship is heating up on and off social media as they've started giving fans some insight into their romance.
The pair first started dating in early July, though they didn't take their relationship public until later that month. TikTok users have been speculating about a possible romance between the two since late June, however, when the influencer appeared onstage at one of Bryan's shows.
In an episode of the BFFs podcast, the social media star (whose real name is Brianna LaPaglia) gave a full breakdown of her romance with the musician, from when they met to how they started dating. She also debunked online rumors about the beginning of the pair's relationship, as some people suspected there may have been cheating involved.
Despite all the attention, LaPaglia declared that what the two had was special — something she realized after spending 18 hours together in a car.
“He’s like, the nicest, most genuine person I’ve ever met. He’s so normal,” she told cohosts Dave Portnoy, Josh Richards and Grace O’Malley. “We did a f---ing 18-hour car ride together and … didn’t turn the music on once and talked the whole time."
She continued, “That’s when I knew, like, oh this guy’s actually awesome. We got to know each other. We’ve been spending a lot of time together.”
Bryan, who ended his relationship with Deb Peifer in May, felt the same, and the two have been going strong since.
From how they met to her response to internet haters, here’s a complete timeline of Zach Bryan and Brianna Chickenfry’s relationship.
May 11, 2023: Zach Bryan and Brianna Chickenfry meet at the Academy of Country Music Awards
Both Bryan and LaPaglia attended the Academy of Country Music Awards, where the latter asked the country star for a photo together. LaPaglia insisted that the two “didn’t say anything to each other” apart from her asking for the photo as they were both in relationships at the time, though LaPaglia’s boyfriend did not accompany her to the event.
May 31, 2023: Zach Bryan announces he ended his relationship with Deb Peifer
Bryan announced his split from his girlfriend in a post on X, formerly known as Twitter.
“Things are mutual between us, we’re leaving with plenty [of] memories and good times,” he wrote. “I beg so much that everyone respects her and my privacy through a hard time.”
June 23, 2023: Brianna Chickenfry joins Zach Bryan onstage at his concert in New York City
LaPaglia and her cohost Richards attended Bryan’s concert at Forest Hills Stadium in N.Y.C., where they enjoyed the views from the stage and joined the country crooner in singing one of his songs.
Despite her appearance, which several concertgoers filmed and posted on TikTok, LaPaglia later told her BFFs cohosts that the two didn’t speak at the event at all.
However, she added, the two did start speaking a few days after when he “slid into [her] DMs.”
“I was still with my boyfriend at the concert. And then, a few days later, me and Joey break up. And [Bryan] had already broken up with his girlfriend, and then he f---in' slid into my DMs,” she explained. “I made a podcast after we went onstage and was like, ‘Eat the rich besides Zach Bryan’ and he posted it and then he DM’d me and said, ‘That was so sweet, thank you guys for coming.’ And then we just started chatting.”
July 28, 2023: Brianna Chickenfry confirms her relationship with Zach Bryan on her podcast
A month after rumors started circulating about the pair’s relationship, LaPaglia confirmed they were dating on her podcast, PlanBri Uncut.
“I think I might have some stuff to address: I’ve been hanging out with a guy named Zach,” she told her cohost O’Malley.
When O'Malley asked for a last name, she responded, "Bryan" and added that the two had “started hanging out” around "three weeks ago."
“It’s fun, it’s casual... just wanted to address it because the whole internet is freaking the f--- out and people are doing s---” she said.
LaPaglia added that she had originally wanted to keep the relationship private for a little longer, but ultimately decided to address all the speculation head on.
"We’re just hanging out, having fun, and that’s where I’ve been, that’s what I’ve been doing, that’s what I’m gonna be doing for a little bit. We’ll see where it goes, and I’m happy,” she concluded.
August 4, 2023: Brianna Chickenfry opens up about her relationship with Zach Bryan on the BFFs podcast
A week after confirming the news on her own podcast, LaPaglia shared the full story with her cohosts on the BFFs podcast.
While Portnoy was upset that LaPaglia hadn’t even told him the relationship news first, LaPaglia clarified that she had just wanted to keep it under wraps a little while longer.
“I thought we were just going to get away with it for a little bit, ‘cause I knew what the reaction was going to be, because I just got out of a relationship, he just got out of a relationship,” she said, adding that she’d gotten “a lot of hate.”
At one point in the podcast, LaPaglia revealed she was in Bryan’s home state of Oklahoma with the singer, who popped in to say hello.
The same day, LaPaglia posted a picture of Bryan eating ice cream in a carousel of Instagram photos, marking the country singer's debut on her social media.
August 26, 2023: Brianna Chickenfry posts a TikTok supporting Zach Bryan's album
A day after the country singer dropped his self-titled album, LaPaglia posted a TikTok of herself getting ready as she sang along to one of the album's songs, "Smaller Acts."
TikTok users quickly speculated that a certain line might have been inspired by LaPaglia. In the song, Bryan sings "Friday afternoon at the Mercury Lounge;" the musician previously posted an Instagram Story of himself and LaPaglia at the Mercury Lounge in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
LaPaglia also raved about the album to PEOPLE a few days later. "I've been listening to it for a little bit. It's really good," she said, "All of the songs are like Top 20 right now, so ... go stream it!"
August 27, 2023: Brianna Chickenfry addresses the hateful comments she’s received since going public with her relationship
In an exclusive interview with PEOPLE during the Streamy Awards, LaPaglia opened up about how she’s facing “hate” over her new relationship with the “Something in the Orange” singer.
“It’s fun, I’m like eating it up,” she said, though admitted that it was “kind of crazy at first.”
"But now, I realize you can't buy into love — or hate — on the internet," she continued. "You just kinda gotta be yourself and see where it takes ya."
She added that she wanted to make sure the truth was out there, which is why she took control of her own narrative on her podcast.
"I wanted to keep it quiet as long as I could, but everyone on the internet is FBI agents, so they figured everything out and I was like, 'I need to get ahead of it, I need to say what's right, what's real and what's true,' so I did it on my podcast," she said.
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