Taylor Kinney: The Man, The Musician, And A $500,000 Ring

Taylor Kinney – you’ve heard the name, you’ve heard that news, and you’ve most probably seen the ring. Yet, for some, the question remains: just who is that guy?

The internet was buzzing after news spread of 33-year old Kinney’s proposal to Lady Gaga on Valentine’s Day, not least because of the amazing heart-shaped diamond ring Taylor went down on one knee with. As The Daily Mirror reported, the special moment took place at Gaga’s parents’ restaurant, Joanne Trattoria, on the Upper West Side in NYC’s Manhattan.

A Pennsylvania native, Kinney and his three brothers were born to a dental hygienist and a banker. His parents divorced and the boys were raised by their mother. His first year in college, Taylor moved to Hawaii and took up carpentry, before setting out for the west coast in search of fame after taking a theatre course. Tragically, one brother, Ryan, died in 2008, just before Taylor’s break in NBC’s Trauma, as Glenn Morrison.

Shortly after, Kinney came to further prominence in the acclaimed The Vampire Diaires, between 2010 and 2011, as werewolf Mason Lockwood. After his character was written out, Taylor – who is of German/Swiss-German/English descent – went on to win the role of Kelly Severide in NBC’s Chicago Fire, which is ongoing. But it was in Kathryn Bigelow’s acclaimed 2012 movie, Zero Dark Thirty, that the part of a U.S. Navy Seal ensured the actor became a household name.

As Yahoo! Celebrity reported, Kinney met his future love while filming Lady Gaga’s “You and I” in 2011. Strangely enough, he played the singer’s love interest. It seems 28-year-old Gaga’s renowned chameleon style was no deterrent to Taylor falling for the woman beneath the artist.

“He’s supportive of everything I do. He loves me from the inside out, and he is completely blind to the way that I dress, my creative process as it is – he knows me as the Italian-American girl my mother and father gave birth to.”

Perhaps it’s a matter of opposites attracting, given Kinney’s reserve and Gaga’s outlandish ways. Whatever may have sparked their love, it seems the couple are in for the long run, having already discussed starting a family together. It helps that Taylor has a history of being a romantic, having spraypainted “I love you” on a billboard in Los Angeles back in the wee small hours of one morning in 2006.

“It was one of those things, like, a guy fighting for a girl’s affection and attention. It was a desperate attempt. I texted her that morning and said, ‘Drive up Fairfax and look up.’ I don’t know how romantic it was, but she dug it and I got her, so it worked.”

However the path to eventually capturing Lady Gaga’s heart was paved, Kinney can rest easy that he indeed has it, after Gaga posted a picture of the stunning $500,000 engagement ring Taylor presented her with, adding the caption, “He gave me his heart on Valentine’s Day, and I said YES!”

For a man who has played both the monster and the hero, now Taylor Kinney has become the real-life knight to one of the public’s most adored musical maidens.

[Image courtesy of Timothy Hiatt/Getty Images]