The legacy of Rayna James

Photo Courtesy of Country Living

Story by Tayhlor Stephenson / Staff Writer


Perhaps the most shocking “Nashville” character death thus far, the beloved Rayna Jaymes, played by actress Connie Britton, took one final bow in the midst of the show’s fifth season. Viewers were left gasping for breath as they watched Rayna take her last one.

As fans of the show, we wanted more time with Rayna: more time to enjoy her humbling motherly love and more time in awe over the emotional relationship she shared with Deacon. Instead, we were left with much less.

In respect of Rayna and the wonderful role she played in CMT’s hit show for over 100 episodes, here is a list of what we fans will especially miss about her, and of course, wish we could have seen more of.

  1. The wedding: It was this very moment in the show that everything fell right into place. Rayna’s long-awaited wedding to Deacon was the perfect setup: rosy flowers flooded the small chapel and several rows of seating were filled with the couple’s loved ones (and our favorite characters).
  1. The love story: There would be no wedding without the on-and-off-again love story that Rayna and Deacon shared for four seasons before reciting their vows to each other. In fact, it was their love story that served as the center of the show, and it’s not something the fans will soon forget.
  1. She was a great mom: Rayna was a mom to two girls, Maddie and Daphne, and her love never failed either of them. Throughout four-and-a-half seasons, the sisters have been through a lot, including the discovery that Deacon was actually Maddie’s biological father rather than Teddy, Rayna’s ex-husband and the man who raised both girls for a majority of their childhood. With the girls having two different fathers, tensions were high between the two of them, as well as with their mom. Rayna did the motherly thing and always found a way to make things better.
  1. She refused to give up on others: Rayna was there for more than just her two daughters. In fact, she also played a mom role to her once-rival, country music star Juliette Barnes. In previous seasons, Juliette has proved to be a lost soul by always making terrible decisions and treating people poorly. Instead of giving up on the young star, Rayna made it her duty to guide Juliette to a better lifestyle, which may very well be what Juliette is heading toward now.  
  1. She was 100% real: Rayna always made it a priority to be completely real with her family, friends and fans. If she was going through one of life’s rough patches, she would share her hardships through her music. There was no pretending with Rayna. She was all real all the time, and we loved that about her.
  1. The music: As viewers of the show, we’re taken on the ride of watching the stars write their own music. As a country music show based in Music City, fans loved watching Rayna write songs alone, and with her husband and two daughters.
  1. The Bluebird Cafe: The big arena concerts are definitely cool, but there’s just something about watching as Rayna sat on the Bluebird stage, performing a raw, stripped-down melody. The only thing more satisfying to fans was when she would collaborate with Deacon. After all, the Bluebird is where their love story began.
  1. The many duets: Of course, Rayna was known for her voice, but she was also known for her duets. Whether she sang with her husband, her two daughters, or anyone else, she fulfilled the fans’ desires for good music. Even in her final moments, she was preparing a duet with her husband.
  1. She was a constant support: No matter how many times someone did her wrong or even walked out on her, Rayna’s support proved unending. Her oldest daughter Maddie even took her to court in Season 4. That didn’t come close to stopping Rayna from always being there for the daughter, who, in Rayna’s eyes, needed her then more than ever.
  2. She’s reached role model status: If Rayna served as nothing else to her fans and co-stars, she wholeheartedly served as the show’s role model. She was selfless, loving and an all-around well-rounded individual, and she will be missed dearly.

To contact Lifestyles Editor Marissa Gaston email

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1 Comment

  1. Avatar
    ray lieb
    March 3, 2017


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