Kathie Lee Gifford gets honest when it comes to stepping out of the spotlight

Kathie Lee Gifford has been in the television industry for decades. Most fans first got a taste of the star’s bubbly personality when she sat alongside Regis Philbin for the hit morning show Live With Regis and Kathie Lee, on which she entertained viewers for years. Not long after, she signed on for the fourth hour of “Today,” where she sipped wine and chatted with co-host Hoda Kotb.

But all good things must come to an end, and that was the case with Gifford’s run on the series. In December 2018, Gifford announced that she was leaving the show to pursue other endeavors. “I have something to share with everyone, and it’s bittersweet how these things always are,” she said on the air. “I’ve been here for almost 11 years; I thought I would stay for a year but something happened on the way there. I fell in love…” she said of Kotb. “And now, on our eleventh anniversary, I’m leaving the ‘Today’ show.” Of course, Kotb and Gifford shed a few tears during the show, and in that moment you could really appreciate how close the ladies became during their appearance on the show had come.

In April 2019, Gifford sat alongside Kotb on the show for the last time (via People), when she confessed that it was just time to move on. “I’m an artist, I’m an actress, I’m a writer, I’m a songwriter, now a director,” she shared.

Now she’s living life in Tennessee.

Kathie Lee Gifford is at peace in Tennessee

Kathie Lee Gifford is opening up about retiring from the spotlight and living her new, quieter life in Nashville, Tennessee. The star opened up about her transition to People. “For the first time after 45 years of longing to be back in California or whatever, I was just like, ‘I don’t want to be there. I’m going to Tennessee,'” Gifford told the outlet, adding that most people in Tennessee share the same beliefs as they do, which is a huge benefit of living there.

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She also noted that she was tired of “fighting the New York traffic every day” before opening up further about her new life. “I felt like my creative years were just beginning. I really did, especially when I first started directing. That changed everything,” she shared. Gifford has proven she has many talents outside of hosting a show, and her new areas of focus include writing music and directing films. And while she’s keeping it rock-bottom, Gifford also has a new man in her life. So — it looks like things in Tennessee are treating the star pretty well!

There’s no doubt that Gifford loves life in Nashville, but that doesn’t stop her from visiting her friends on Today. On August 17, she shared a photo with Hoda Kotb, Jenna Bush Hager, and her co-author Rabbi Jason Sobel while promoting her book, The God of the Way. Talk about a moment that comes full circle!