Country legend Garth Brooks was the biggest artist in country music during the 1990s, and that meant he was on the road constantly and away from his then-wife Sandy Mahl and his three young daughters, Taylor, August, and Allie. But, when he took a break from the industry in 2001, he moved back to Oklahoma and ended up getting a divorce. In the new A&E documentary titled The Road I’m On, Brooks says he realized when he returned home that he didn’t know his daughters at all.
“I just said goodbye to music, got divorced, moved back to Oklahoma and left Nashville,” he said in a recent Q&A in New York. “I was living with three strange women that I did not know. They were 8, 6 and 4. And I was about to get a crash course in females. And my best friend showed up.”
Brooks’ best friend is his second wife Trisha Yearwood, who he had met back in the late 1980s, and ended up marrying in 2005. The 57-year-old says that Yearwood helped him out a lot, but she didn’t have kids either so it was “kind of the blind leading the blind.”
The Country Music Hall of Famer told Us Weekly that he would never wish divorce on anyone. However, in his situation with Yearwood and Mahl, having three children and three parents worked “really well.”
It was even better, says Brooks, because all three of his girls were tomboys. That meant they were all into soccer, track and field, and softball. And, never once did any one of his daughters take the field without at least one parent in the stands.
“I love music to death, really do. But there’s nothing like loving your babies,” said the Friends In Low Places singer.
When Brooks met Yearwood back in 1988 – just 13 months after marrying Mahl – he said he felt like he had just met his wife. But, he says that if he would have married Yearwood back then, his career wouldn’t have been what it was in the 1990s, and the marriage wouldn’t have lasted.
Now, Taylor is 27, August is 25, and Allie is 23. Brooks says that he wouldn’t change a thing about his life and he has no regrets because if he changed anything his daughters wouldn’t be who they are today. He says they are the perfect blend of him and their mama, with Yearwood’s influence.
The two-part documentary The Road I’m On is now streaming on Hulu.