Kathie Lee Gifford on 'New Beginnings' in Nashville: 'So Wonderful to Be a Private Person for Change

The former TODAY host tells PEOPLE she "felt like my creative years were just beginning" when she left daytime TV and moved to Tennessee

The former Live! with Regis and Kathie Lee co-host stepped out of the spotlight for a quieter pace of life — and she's found happiness in Nashville

Gifford, 69, has called Nashville home for three years, telling PEOPLE: "I have a whole community of people here that share my faith

Gifford is now focused on writing music and directing — including her new film The Way (in theaters Thursday)

Alongside her work, Gifford spends her time with family and loved ones. She's welcomed her first grandchild, Frank

She's also putting her own love life first. After losing husband Frank Gifford at 84 in 2015, Gifford has welcomed love into her life again