The War and Treaty singers Michael Trotter Jr. and Tanya Trotter bring their love story to life each time they take the stage.
The couple met in 2010 and soon tied the knot, but Michael initially thought he ruined his chance with his now-wife. “We started working and hanging out a little bit professionally. … I decided I was going to tell her how I felt,” he recalled in a 2013 interview. “We were texting back-and-forth, and she told me I left my sweater at her house and she asked what I was going to leave next. So I told her, ‘My heart.’”
He continued, “I tried to have a little Jerry McGuire moment, ‘You had me at hello,’ and Tanya hung the phone up. I didn’t hear back from her until the next day around 12:30 p.m. The whole night I was thinking that I’d just ruined the relationship. But she called me, and we went out to dinner and the movies. And we’ve been together since.”
Michael and Tanya lean on one another for support both on stage and off. Before The War and Treaty was formed, Michael served in Iraq and developed PTSD from his time in the U.S. Army. He hit a particularly low point in 2017, but Tanya was there to pick him back up.
“Every single day I see the joy and fire in Michael, and that’s the joy and fire I need,” she told The San Diego Union-Tribune in 2022.
Scroll down for a glimpse inside Michael and Tanya’s relationship:
The couple met at a festival in Maryland. “He was performing there, and he blew me away,” Tanya recalled to People. Michael, however, had his sights set on Tanya “a long time” before they crossed paths. “I saw her on the big screen back in the ’90s [in Sister Act 2: Back in the Habit] and I was like, ‘That is my wife right there,’” he teased.
The musicians officially founded their band. Three years later, they dropped their EP Down to the River.
The War and Treaty’s debut record, Healing Tide, was released in August.
Michael and his wife took the stage with Dierks Bentley at the 56th annual ACM Awards, performing a cover of U2’s “Pride (In the Name of Love).”
The couple performed the Rolling Stones hit “It’s Only Rock ‘n’ Roll (But I Like It)” with Brothers Osborne at the 56th annual CMA Awards. That same day, Michael and Tanya released a surprise EP titled Blank Page.
The War and Treaty earned their first nominations for the CMT Music Awards, ACM Awards and CMA Awards following the release of their album Lover’s Game. Zach Bryan also tapped the duo for the song “Hey Driver” from his self-titled record.
“It was such a fun experience, and we’re very grateful for him shining his light on us. And yeah, it changed the game for us,” Michael told Variety of the collaboration.
The pair also earned their first Grammy nominations, competing for Best New Artist and Best American Roots Song.
The twosome performed during the “In Memoriam” segment at the 75th annual Emmy Awards in January, singing “See You Again” with Charlie Puth and a special rendition of the Friends theme song.
One month later, Michael and Tanya rocked the 2024 Grammys red carpet in a chartreuse green suit and a lavender purple dress, respectively. “Arriving in style at the #2024grammys ✨,” the captioned Instagram pics of their looks in February 2024. Although they ended the night without any awards, they congratulated their fellow nominees via Instagram.