Shane Bitney Crone’s life took a heartbreaking turn when, in 2012, his boyfriend Tom Bridegroom died suddenly in an accent. To add insult to injury, Bridegroom’s family wouldn’t allow Crone at his funeral—erasing him from the memorial and threatening him with violence.
Crone recounted the whole ordeal in the acclaimed 2013 documentary Bridegroom, and three years later he revealed he had found love again, this time with American Idol alum Rayvon Owen. The couple met when Crone was a production assistant on the series the year Owen became a finalist.
“I had never felt very comfortable discussing [Tom] with past crushes because people had often told me that my story was intimidating, if not completely romance-repelling,” Crone wrote on Facebook. “With Rayvon, I didn’t hesitate to tell him about Tom, and he encouraged me to continue keeping Tom’s memory alive—which only made me fall further in love with him.”
The two just took their relationship to the next level, with Crone proposing to Owen onstage at a recent stop on Demi Lovato’s “Tell Me You Love Me” concert.
During the concert Demi asked her dancers to pick a member of the audience to come on stage, and they chose Owen. But the whole thing was a setup, with Crone popping out of a trap door to propose. (He said yes, thankfully.)
“I’m still in tears. last night was hands down the happiest night of my life,” Owen posted online. “I am beyond excited and honored to spend the rest of my life with you, @ShaneBitney. thank you @ddlovato for giving us this extremely special moment.”
Demi revealed to her fans that the guys were close friends of her. (Her song “Skyscraper” appeared in the Bridegroom documentary and Crone has since appeared in two of Lovato’s music videos, “Really Don’t Care” and “Sorry Not Sorry.”) “I’ve gotten to watch Shane go through so much and come out on the other side as such a strong person who’s found the love of his life,” she shared. S
he then performed “Yes” from her 2015 album Confident, as a montage the newly-engaged couple streamed on screens around the venue.
.@RayvonOwen, I can’t wait to spend the rest of my life with you, and I am beyond thrilled to officially call you my fiancé! Thanks to @ddlovato, @irobotyoujane, @Sirah, & @AdreeneyC for helping make last night possible! It was one of the greatest moments of my life. Love wins! https://t.co/ZrM36N36HN
— Shane Bitney Crone (@ShaneBitney) March 4, 2018
“I also want to thank you for all that you have done and continue to do for young people, and particularly the LGBT community. Your heart, your voice, and your activism make everyone feel accepted, less alone, more empowered and more hopeful.”
“We are all worthy of love and are not defined solely by the past,” Crone added. “I believe that in death, Tom helped me find new life—with Rayvon. Some people may think that’s crazy, but I believe with all my heart that it is true. I can’t predict the future, but if I’ve learned one thing from the past five years, it is that love and life are fleeting and I must live for the present. However long I get to be with Rayvon”