Former Today Show host Kathie Lee Gifford has gone through some major life changes in the past four years. In 2015, she lost her husband of 30 years, NFL legend Frank Gifford, when he passed away at the age of 84. And earlier this year, she ended an 11-year run as the co-host of the fourth hour of the Today Show with Hoda Kotb. Now, Gifford has moved away from her home of more than a decade – Greenwich, Connecticut – and has landed in Franklin, Tennessee, just outside of Nashville.
Gifford revealed in an interview this week with The Tennessean that she had to move because she was “dying of loneliness” after becoming a widow. Both of her children – Cody, 29, and Cassidy, 26 – are grown and out of the house, and Gifford says that her beautiful memory-filled home in Connecticut started feeling like a “morgue.”
“Here’s the bad news — I’m a widow, an orphan, and an empty nester. The good news is, I have the freedom of a widow, an orphan and an empty nester,” said Gifford.
Now, instead of drinking wine every morning with Kotb and chatting with celebrities, Gifford says she is excited to change things up and focus on producing faith-based movies and music. As a devout Christian, this is her calling, and she loves that she has “all the time to spend my days writing.”
The 66-year-old moved to Franklin, Tennessee, not long after she left the Today Show in April, and she says that now she is having the life she could’ve only dreamed of.
When she visited with Kotb and her Today replacement Jenna Bush Hager recently, Gifford said that Nashville has a different culture, which she called a “culture of kindness.” And, she loves that the people are authentically kind, joyful, and have so much fun.
“I wake up and there are church bells ringing all around me,” said Gifford. “It’s just a different attitude.”
She says that the work she wants to do isn’t in New York City anymore. Gifford explained that she is an artist, actress, writer, songwriter, and a director now, and those are things things that feed her soul. She’s also very aware that she is running out of time to do those things.
Since buying her new home – which is a luxurious brownstone near the Franklin town square – Kathie Lee Gifford has written and recorded four new spiritual songs about the loss of her husband, has written a new children’s book, and wrote, produced, and starred in the romantic comedy Love Me To Death.
She also has more projects on the way, including two Hallmark channel movies and a large-scale production of Handel’s Messiah. And, she is also writing songs with some of the biggest songwriters in Nashville.