13 Reasons to Mourn Rayna James

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Rayna Jaymes went through a lot in her four and a half seasons on Nashville. Through the good and the bad, she held her head high.

When we first met her she was already a country superstar.

Over the years we saw her leave her longtime label and start her own; compete with other artists and navigate her career; divorce Teddy and marry Deacon; and struggle to raise her girls in the most normal way possible.

She was the heart of the show and will be missed.


1. The Infamous Elevator Kiss

The Infamous Elevator Kiss
So many people mentioned this as their favorite memory of Rayna that I had to include it. This was in season 1 when Rayna was still fighting/ignoring her feelings for Deacon and Deacon was clearly getting tired of it. Fans rejoiced when he told he was done talking, grabbed her and kissed her.

2. Her Marraige to Teddy

Her Marraige to Teddy
We can never forget Rayna's first marriage because it gave us Daphne. I know they had good times but their marriage was always destined to end for one simple reason -- Rayna was head over heels in love with Deacon. We all knew it, even Teddy. He tried to be a good husband and father, raising Maddie as his own, and staying home so Rayna could have her career. But it just wasn't meant to be. After their divorce, they continued to co-parent their kids and support each other as much as possible.

3. Her Love/Hate Relationship with Juliette

Her Love/Hate Relationship with Juliette
When Rayna met Juliette it was hostility at first sight. Juliette was an up and coming young talent, while Rayna was a past her prime, aging superstar. Or so it seemed. The two of them butt heads over the course of the show but they also motivate each other to raise their game. When they joined forces -- whether it was co-writing "Wrong Song" or uniting against Jeff Fordham -- they were unstoppable. Rayna was at Juliette's side during her mom's funeral and tried to bring her back from the brink of her postpartum depression. In the last episode, Juliette finally admitted she had always wanted Rayna to be proud of her.

4. Making Her Professional Dream a Reality

Making Her Professional Dream a Reality
Rayna was loyal to Edgehill for most of her career. When things went south, she bought out her contract and started her own label, Highway 65. Although it has struggled financially from the start, the label gave Rayna the artistic freedom she was missing. At Highway 65 she was able to make the kind of music she wanted and give other artists the opportunity to do the same.

5. Her Brush With Death

Her Brush With Death
Rayna's first car accident happened while she was fighting with a very drunk Deacon. He had just found out Maddie was his daughter and was livid she didn't tell him sooner, or even at all. They both survived, although, Rayna spent significant time in the hospital and Deacon almost went to jail. After this, it seemed like they could survive anything.

6. Entertainer Of The Year

Entertainer Of The Year
Rayna did a lot to try to revamp her career. She changed her label, her producers, her collaborators, her sound. Initially, she didn't see much improvement but that all changed in season 3 when she was awarded Entertainer of the Year at the CMA's. Sure, her success came at the same time she started dating Luke Wheeler, and one could argue their power couple status contributed to it, but she put out some great songs like "This Time" and "Ball & Chain".

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