Meet Rumer Willis' Boyfriend, Derek Richard Thomas

Derek Richard Thomas is dating Rumer Willis, one of Bruce Willis' five daughters, but he is much more than her boyfriend. He is an interesting individual who has enjoyed a successful career as a musician. His beautiful voice is also one of the reasons Willis fell for him. "I met him for the first time, and I heard him open his mouth and sing, and I was like, 'I love this man,'" she said on the podcast "Bathroom Chronicles" with Kimberly Van Der Beek and Peggy Rometo. "I was like, 'I don't know who he is,' but the way that he was singing — the heartbreak and the passion — I was like, 'I have to know this person.'"

Thomas' life has changed tremendously since meeting Willis, and their connection is undeniable. They've already accomplished a lot in their short time together, including becoming dedicated parents, and their baby girl's name was created thanks to Thomas' typo. "Her dad and I were texting, and he left the 'R' out of Loretta, and it was just Louetta," Willis told People in August 2023. "I was like, 'Oh, I love that!'" When they are not praising each other, they also spend time outdoors. Thomas is environmentally aware and has been vocal about the importance of soil and water and their impacts on his life. Meet Derek Richard Thomas, the man who has Rumer Willis' heart.

Derek Richard Thomas is a passionate musician

Derek Richard Thomas is a musician. His social media is dedicated to his passion, with photos and videos of him performing and showcasing snippets of his latest work. This includes an Instagram post from January 2023 showing a picture of a billboard from his sold-out show. "Have you listened to my new album 'Live at The Troubadour.' What's your favorite track?" he captioned the photo, encouraging fans to share their opinions. 

In an interview with Sound Vapors in 2018, Thomas spoke about his inspirations. "I've been singing my whole life. We started out doing Sinatra tunes when I was crooning back in high school," he said.

In another post from May 2022, Rumer Willis praised Thomas' skills. She posted a video of him performing and commented on how he and the musicians Hail Maries are "the most talented singers and songwriters I have heard in a very long time (maybe ever)." She also shared with fans how she was able to perform with them. Then, in June 2022, Willis posted a video of her and Thomas singing his song "How Many Years" together onstage. "Was so lovely getting a chance to sing this tune; it's one of my favorites," she captioned the video. The couple may love performing together, but Thomas has previously mentioned his ideal collaborator would be Dr. Dre. He told Original Rock in 2017 that the reason is because "he's the s***, and we'd get each other."

He parted ways with his band, Vista Kicks

Derek Richard Thomas is known for his work with the indie band Vista Kicks. They enjoyed success as a group and gave an interview to Forbes in 2018 to discuss releasing their music in a nontraditional way. "We're trying it out. It's a social experiment for us," Thomas told Forbes about using the public domain. "We really believe in it. We believe in the power of public domain."

Thomas also shared with Forbes his excitement over the future of their music. "If we can release music to the public domain and still make a living, we're on to something that's bigger than what we're doing for ourselves and the music we're making," he said. His time with the band was a big deal. In his interview with Sound Vapors, Thomas said they had been in the "Same band, same everybody. We grew up together since we were five years old." However, in February 2023, the musician told fans he would be parting ways with Vista Kicks.

"With everything that has happened in the past few years, and a lot has happened, we have to say goodbye to Vista Kicks," he wrote in a since-deleted Instagram post (via Parade). "Among many other reasons, we feel Vista Kicks no longer represents what we are and who we want to be."

He is a father

Rumer Willis and Derek Richard Thomas celebrated the birth of their daughter with a sweet joint Instagram post. "Louetta Isley Thomas Willis, you are pure magic," the proud parents captioned the photo of their newborn. "Born at home on Tuesday, April 18th. You are more than we ever dreamed of."

Thomas has embraced fatherhood, and Willis has been open about her appreciation for all he does. "I am so grateful to have you in my life and our daughter's life. You are such a great dad, and our girl is so lucky to call you Papa," she captioned a photo on Instagram of Thomas sleeping next to Louetta. Even before he became a father, Willis was praising Thomas. "He's been so lovely, and he's just so excited to be a dad, and we're both just so delighted to meet whoever this little person is," she told People in an April 2023 interview. "I could not have asked for a better partner, and he's going to be such a great dad."

The couple also works well as a team. "I also think it's amazing ... her dad and I discovering ourselves as parents," Willis said in a chat with People in a November 2023 interview. "We're discovering how we want a parent, and how we're taking the things certain things from our parents, but also how we're kind of forming new things for ourselves because there's so much that we have access to that our parents didn't."

Derek Richard Thomas creates and sells pottery

Derek Richard Thomas posted a video of himself and his creations on Instagram in November 2023. "Pottery is DRT, and I've made perfection out of imperfection," he captioned the post. "DRT MUGS pre-order yours today!! The perfect gift for the holidays!!" In the video, he describes how his ceramic adventure started as "the search for the perfect mug." As for the mugs, Thomas feels "they perfectly represent what dirt is."

He is passionate about soil and has an Instagram page dedicated to talking about it: DRT FARM. It also features a link to a shop. The products include T-shirts with the slogan "DRT," notebooks, and the DRT mug. Listed at $75, the mugs are handmade and described as "food safe, dishwasher safe, and microwave safe." If you are interested, they take time to create, with Thomas asking fans to be patient.

Thomas and Rumer Willis have enjoyed creating art together, too. In the November 2023 interview with People, Willis gave a glimpse into their family life. "After we get home from the farmer's market, depending on what we're doing that day, sometimes my partner and Lou and I have been going to the ceramic studio," she said. "We've been taking classes there recently."

He is passionate about being in nature

Derek Richard Thomas enjoys spending time outdoors and has a special connection with nature, specifically with water. In several Instagram posts, he has shared his thoughts with fans, including a video from October 2023 in which he discussed "the healing power of water, especially cold, fresh water in nature." Thomas commented on how submerging in water has a positive impact and discussed his feelings about the properties of water. "We are made of mostly water, and when we go into bodies of water, we balance the energy in our own water," he wrote in the caption.

Spending time in fresh, cold water is something that Thomas does regularly. In October 2023, he posted a video of himself running into a river. "Nothing like pulling over to the side of the road and jumping in a river," he captioned the post and teased new music simultaneously. And in January 2024, he shared a clip of his "New Year's River Plunge."

His relationship with Rumer Willis has changed his life

Derek Richard Thomas has several posts dedicated to the woman who has his heart. He made an Instagram post in honor of Rumer Willis' birthday in August 2022. "In the short time we've been together, you have filled my life with joy and peace. Everything is just so easy with you. We sing, we dance, we play, and most of all, we laugh. Thank you for being you," he wrote. "You're a magical human. I'm so glad you came into my life." The couple were first publicly linked in May 2022.

For her birthday the following year, Thomas once again discussed the joy of having Willis in his life. "I'm so glad you were born and came into my life. I'll never be the same; thank you for making me a father and helping me grow as a human," he wrote on Instagram.

And on Valentine's Day in 2023, Thomas once again took the opportunity to celebrate his relationship. "You're the best partner I could ever ask for. I love being around you," he captioned a bunch of photos of Willis. "Thanks for believing in my dreams, for laughing at my jokes, and always playing along. I'm so glad you are who you are ... You've changed my life forever and for the better."

The couple had an instant connection

The love between Rumer Willis and Derek Richard Thomas is undeniable. Willis has spoken publicly about their relationship and how she fell hard, fast. "We started spending time together, and the first date we had, he just started talking in an accent to me the whole car ride home," she said on a February 2023 episode of "Bathroom Chronicles" with Kimberly Van Der Beek and Peggy Rometo. "We were talking in a Southern accent together, and I was like, 'Oh my god, this is my person. This is amazing.'"

In a special Valentine's Day post in 2023, Willis celebrated the man she loves with a touching tribute. She posted a photo of them cuddling and got emotional in the caption. "My sweet, sweet man @derekrichardthomas, I didn't know that love could feel like this," she wrote. "I have never been so happy in my life. You make everything more fun and goofy and joyful." It's clear both parties were smitten with each other from the jump.

He is a fan of cookouts

Rumer Willis gave an insight into her relationship with Derek Richard Thomas when she celebrated his 29th birthday with a sweet post on May 30, 2023. In the caption, she listed several things she loved about the musician and what they get up to, including a mention of his cooking skills. "I love the way you cook and could eat your tacos every day," she wrote.

Thomas is a fan of cookouts, and several of his social media posts have been dedicated to his passion for food. In June 2023, he posted a video on Instagram of himself with his young daughter in a baby carrier while receiving his surprise present from Willis: a Big Green Egg grill. "I grew up with a @biggreenegg in the backyard my whole life, and I've always wanted one to call my own," he captioned the post. "Thank you, @rumerwillis, for making my dreams come true!!"

A month later, in July 2023, he showed that his grill was getting good use when he posted a video of a chicken barbeque. In August 2023, he again posted a video on Instagram showing himself firing up his Big Green Egg grill. In the caption, he told fans how he had learned how to cook ribs from his mother, and he praised the grill for keeping them "juicy."

Derek Richard Thomas cares about sustainability

Derek Richard Thomas has spoken about his farming views, highlighting the significance of mulching, a practice used in agriculture to help reduce water usage. He did this with a video posted on Instagram in August 2022. "Mulching can save up to 2/3 of the freshwater used by farms, and yet the majority of farms don't mulch," Thomas wrote in the caption. "A statistic I read in soil science when I studied Horticulture in college was that 75% of all freshwater we have goes to farms, and less than 10% went to all the houses." He also spoke on regenerative farming, "which increases biodiversity and allows for the biodiversity to keep itself in check." He stressed the importance of changing conventional farming methods to this more eco-friendly approach.

A passion for the environment is something that Rumer Willis shares with her boyfriend, and in December 2023, she attended the screening for the premiere of "Common Ground" in Los Angeles. The documentary focuses on the American food system. "The film profiles a hopeful and uplifting movement of white, black, and indigenous farmers who are using alternative 'regenerative' models of agriculture that could balance the climate, save our health, and stabilize America's economy," the project reads.