On Friday night (March 2), American Idol top four finalist Rayvon Owen and his boyfriend of over two years, filmmaker and LGBTQ activist Shane Bitney Crone, took their relationship to the next level by getting engaged on stage at Demi Lovato’s Tell Me You Love Me tour stop near Los Angeles.
Lovato kicked off the elaborate proposal by telling her audience that she needed someone to help her on the next song. She sent her dancers to go find someone. “I didn’t know what was going on. I thought I was going up there to like, dance. I thought we were going to have a little twerk session with her,” Owen told Billboard Pride.
“And then she was like, ‘Who’d you come here with?’ And I was like, ‘I came with my boyfriend Shane,’ and she’s like, ‘Where is he?’ And I was like looking to where we were sitting, thinking that he was still seated over there, and then he popped up in the middle of the stage!”
After rising onto the stage from a trap door, Crone proposed in front of the pop diva and a cheering audience: “I thought I could never love again, and then I completely fell in love with everything about you. You inspire me every day with your passion, your patience, your talents and generous heart,” he said.
I SAID YES!!!
i’m still in tears. last night was hands down the happiest night of my life. 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. #tellmeyoulovemetour pic.twitter.com/P3Kow9jdgZ
— Rayvon Owen (@RayvonOwen) March 4, 2018
After Owen said yes, Lovato gave the couple a moment and then addressed her audience, explaining that she is close friends with the couple.
“I’ve gotten to watch Shane go through so much and come out on the other side — such a strong person who’s now found the love of his life,” Lovato said as she teared up. Lovato then serenaded the couple with her emotional track “Yes” from 2015’s Confident.
Lovato became friends with Crone after he was the subject of a 2013 documentary Bridegroom, which documented the unexpected death of his partner Tom Bridegroom. While Crone’s own family was accepting of his sexual orientation, Bridegroom’s family was not, and had gone so far as to threaten Tom with physical violence and to blame Crone for “making” Tom gay.
Lovato’s hit song “Skyscraper” even appeared in the documentary. Crone has since appeared in two of Lovato’s music videos, “Really Don’t Care” and “Sorry Not Sorry.”
Owen explained that Lovato was the mastermind behind the elaborate proposal: “The whole slideshow, and her singing the song, that was like her idea. She was so kind to do that, then to even go the extra mile, you know? Not just say, ‘Yeah, you can propose to him on stage,’ but then, ‘Let me sing you a song.’ She did the whole thing. It took up almost ten minutes of her concert.”
Owen came out publicly in 2016, partially thanks to Crone. The two met shortly before the Owen shot his video for his first post-Idol release “Can’t Fight It.” While the director had imagined that Owen would leave a nightclub with a girl in the last scene, Owen asked Crone to play his love interest.
“I met Shane not even a month before the video was scheduled to shoot,” Owen explained. “And after us kind of dating for a couple weeks I was like, ‘Well, do you want to be in the video?’ Shane had been a voice for the community, and I thought like, well, ‘It’s kind of perfect, like, I’m coming out.’ I’m glad that it worked out, and now we’re getting married now, because he’s stuck in my video now — for the rest of my life.”