As soon as Garth Brooks released his debut record, he practically overnight became a superstar. The Oklahoma native from Tulsa looked destined for a career in the music industry, and his journey there is quite astounding.
When his career took off, Brooks was still wed to Sandy Mahl, his first wife. Due to the extensive traveling and performing, being a traveling artist was difficult. He chose to “retire” from country music in 2001 so that he could devote more time to parenting his girls.
He also went through a divorce at the same time with his second wife, Trisha, which resulted in a sizable multi-million dollar settlement. It turns out that the underlying cause of the divorce was not what most people initially believed.
You can learn everything you need to know about Garth Brooks’ family, career, and life here!
On July 2, 1962, Garth Brooks was born in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and was exposed to music at a very young age. His mother, acclaimed musician Colleen Carroll Brooks, was signed to the storied record company Capitol Records.
Colleen once quipped, “I had what they used to call a cigarette-alto.” They claimed that I resembled a combination of Frank Sinatra and Jo Stafford.
Totally competent. Regarding his late mother, Garth Brooks remarked, “She’s got the best voice I ever heard from a girl.”
Meanwhile, Brooks’ father Troyal taught him his first guitar chords, and there was always music playing in the house. There, he listened to Merle Haggard and George Jones’ classic country music, while through his brothers, he developed a taste for more arena-rock artists like Kiss and Bob Seger.
When Brooks was four years old, his family relocated to Yukon, Oklahoma. He went to Yukon High School before transferring to Stillwater to attend Oklahoma State University.
Even yet, Brooks didn’t initially have an ambition of being a musician, despite his intense love in music. He preferred to pursue a career as a professional athlete.
Brooks received a track and field scholarship for the javelin and enrolled at Oklahoma State University. He used to play baseball and football as well.
“I desired to enter the professional sports world. When I was younger, that was my goal,” Brooks said to Stephen Colbert in 2018.
“My abilities as a professional athlete was the only thing that held me back.”
He made light of his choice to throw the javelin by telling Colbert that “they call it track and field. Not me. I’m only field.
Garth’s buddies were starting to dabble with music at the same time as he was participating in javelin at the university. Although Garth was studying for his advertising major, it didn’t take long for him to learn that music was something he was really talented at as they used to jam together in their dorm rooms.
In an effort to generate some money, Brooks made the decision to take his guitar one evening in 1985 to a nearby salon called Willie’s and inquire if he might perform some songs. He was first only offered one night, but it soon developed into a part-time position. Unsurprisingly, Brooks identified one of them as having potential as a career.
One night quickly evolved into two, then three, and before long, Garth told Colbert, “I was playing all over town, Monday through Friday.”
“The best part was that it wasn’t working… By doing something that isn’t a job, I could provide for both myself and someone I loved!
At a nearby bar, Garth also served as a bouncer. He then went on to start his own cover-music band called Santa Fe. He mastered playing anything the crowd want.
The best part about clubs, he said, “is that there’s no one standing between you and the people you’re playing for.”
Between you and them, there are no “yes men”; there is only honesty. They’ll inform you of it. Additionally, they’ll inform you immediately away. Thus, you pick up on what works and what doesn’t quickly.
To further his musical career, Brooks made the decision to go to Nashville in 1985. He had a lot of self-assurance and thought the path to fame and glory would be clear cut.
However, when he got to Nashville, things weren’t nearly so easy. Both record deals and engagements eluded Brooks.
“You really have to prove yourself when you are by yourself for the first time. To deal with each challenge as it arises, you start digging deep inside yourself to discover what makes you who you are. I really thought about who I was for the first time. I was made up of my friends, my family, and the Almighty. They weren’t near me at all, Brooks recalled in an interview.
The main benefit of that initial trip, then, was that I was not foolish enough to stay. Although the timing wasn’t ideal, something kept insisting that this is what I should do. I was sitting and observing the walls of the motel. I’ve already decided to return home.
Brooks left Stillwater and headed back, feeling a little defeated.
He kept getting jobs back home while also being married to Sandy Mahl, his then-girlfriend, which had a profound impact on his life.
Then, one evening, at the renowned Bluebird Café, Brooks participated in a writer’s round.
Due to the absence of the second player, Brooks was given the opportunity to participate. Lynn Shults, the president of the Capitol Records label, attended, which proved that fate was on his side that evening.
Seeing Brooks play If Tomorrow Never Comes was Shults. His major break was already planned by the time the gig was through.
Brooks remembers that Lynn Shults from Capitol Records was there to see the absentee. “Instead, he saw Garth Brooks. Lynn was waiting offstage when my act was finished. My life would be irrevocably altered by what he said to Bob and me. Maybe we missed something here, he said. Come by tomorrow to the label. Let’s speak.
Capital Records signed Brooks on June 17, 1988, for a $10,000 advance. Much Too Young (To Feel This Damn Old, his debut single, was released in April 1989 and peaked at No. 8 on the charts.
If Tomorrow Never Comes, the second single, and its follow-up, The Dance, both reached No. 1. Brooks quickly rose to prominence at Capitol Nashville and became one of the top country music performers in the US after his self-titled first album debuted at No. 2 on the Billboard country album chart.
He admitted to the Los Angeles Times in 1990 that it was now much simpler for him to cash his checks at the supermarket.
But being a star is essentially a four-letter word in my book, so to speak. I’m simply a guy who loves playing country music, and that’s all I am.
His second album featured four straight No. 1 singles, and the album itself was certified as a No. 1 diamond accomplishment.
For the record, I’ve stated it a thousand times. This is the apex of what I do, I’ll say it a thousand times more, Garth Brooks declared. “Being a member of the Grand Ole Opry has never been surpassed,”
The 1990s ended up being Brook’s busiest and most trying decade, at least thus far. He performed all over the world and received numerous honors, including Grammy and Academy of Country Music Awards.
The performer has won a total of 23 Academy of Country Music Awards. In 1999, his Garth Live From Central Park special received two Primetime Emmy nominations for Outstanding Variety, Music, or Comedy Special and Outstanding Performance in a Variety or Music Program.
As previously indicated, before his career truly took off, Brooks wed Sandy, his first wife. After being married in 1989, they went on to have three kids together.
August Anna, their second daughter, was born in 1994, and their first child, Taylor Mayne Pearl, was born in 1992. Allie Colleen arrived two years after that.
Although Brook’s career flourished, he was also aware of how challenging the music business was. He and Sandy couldn’t keep up with the touring, recording, promoting, and traveling. Regrettably, the two split up in 2001.
Marriage requires that everything be proper. You were married in front of God, your family, and everyone, and this is who you went to college with, Garth Brooks stated.
“There comes a moment when you start to consider how you want to live the remainder of your life.”
Brooks had declared his “retirement” from country music a year earlier, stating that he wanted to be more involved in raising his girls. He had already sold 100 million albums at that time.
According to Garth Brooks, “I was getting divorced.”
Sandy is essentially carrying out both mine and her duties with the girls. Sandy should be telling them, “Hey, your dad loves you to death,” if she is doing her job. He’s only working, and soon he’ll be back at home. Well, I no longer had anyone to perform it for me.
On December 17, 2001, Sandy Mahl and Garth Brooks’ divorce became legally binding.
His first wife reportedly received a rather sizable settlement totaling $125 million. It was the most costly divorce in history, according to Celebrity Net Worth.
But Brooks and Mahl were adamant that their kids would always come first, even after they split up.
Garth claimed to have turned his attention to his family shortly after the divorce; they co-parented their girls for 14 years as they grew up. The kids saw both parents every morning and every evening.
For fourteen years, with a few exceptions, they traded daughters in the evening. The girls were picked up the next morning and taken to school by the one parent who didn’t spend the night at their home.
For 14 years, they saw both of their parents in the morning and in the evening, according to Garth Brooks.
“We conducted it that way because we were certain it was best for those children. You would act in your own best interests if you did what was right for the children. It was easy.”
Then, in 2005, Brooks wed Trisha Yearwood, his second wife. Actually, they had already met when she was a budding artist (Trisha was also a singer at the time).
She scored a big hit with the song She’s In Love With The Boy in 1991 after Garth assisted her in landing her first record deal.
Yearwood’s debut record helped her become the first female country artist to sell one million copies. At Buck Owens’ Crystal Palace in 2005, Brooks popped the question to her in front of 7,000 spectators.
Garth’s daughters were still young when they got married. However, he revealed to Us Weekly that she took an active role in helping him raise his kids, and the three of them—Garth, his ex-wife, and his current wife—frequented his daughters’ numerous sporting activities.
I’ll admit that while I’ve never wished divorce on anyone, having three kids and three parents worked pretty well for us, especially because the three girls were tomgirls. They were all at softball, track, and soccer games, and never once did one of those kids take the field without at least one parent present, according to Brooks.
Garth’s daughters have all earned college degrees as of late. His marriage to Trisha Yearwood is still going strong, and his family is doing well.
In addition, Brooks is rumored to have a $400 million or so net worth. He could not be happier as he reflects on his life.
I had no idea it could be this way, he said. “I had no idea you could feel this way every day.”