Garth Brooks and Trisha Yearwood are country music royalty and seemingly the perfect couple. The two are constantly quoted as saying how in love they are after 10 years of marriage. The story of their relationship contains another person however, Garth Brooks‘ first wife Sandy Mahl.
Brooks met Mahl at Oklahoma State when he was working as a bouncer in a college bar. The two became college sweethearts and married in 1986.
The marriage resulted in Brooks’ three daughters, Taylor Mayne Pearl (born 1992), August Anna (born 1994), and Allie Colleen (born 1996). During the marriage, Brooks’ career took off and he became the megastar we know today.
During the time that Brooks was getting started in Nashville, he met fellow struggling musician Trisha Yearwood in 1987, 13 months after Brooks married Mahl.
“I felt that feeling like when you just meet your wife.” Brooks told Ellen DeGeneres.
Still, Brooks says he was committed to making his marriage to Sandy work and would try to do so for 14 more years.
“Being married, it’s gotta be right. This is who you went to college with and you were married in front of God and your family and everybody.” Still, at the end of the day, “There comes that time where you’re looking at the rest of your life and going, ‘How do you want to live it?’” Brooks said.
However, life as a touring artist and his feelings for Yearwood took their toll on the marriage between Mahl and Brooks. In 2000 Brooks announced his “retirement” from country music and cited his daughters as the reason for the decision, then Brooks divorced Mahl in 2001.
Brooks started seeing Yearwood after the end of his first marriage and the couple were married in 2005.
Now, with his last of three children finishing up high school, Garth says he’s never been happier. “I never knew it could be like this,” he says with a smile. “I never knew that every day you could feel like this.”
As for Mahl, she is reportedly single and has never remarried and is a successful businesswoman as well as Wildlife Rehabilitator, WHR Vice President & Co-Founder at Wild Heart Ranch in Foyil, Oklahoma.
According to the Rehabilitation Center’s site:
Sandy Brooks has been part of Wild Heart Ranch since shortly after she moved home from Nashville. A mother dog and her pups were dumped at Sandy’s gate and taken to Wild Heart Ranch for help. Sandy later called to check on them and found out they went to a wildlife rescue. Sandy, passionate about wildlife rehabilitation, jumped on board to get licensed by the State and assist with the work of raising hundreds of infant wild animals. Several years later, Sandy assisted in founding and funding the non profit so it could expand and grow and be a full time, all species, all situation facility.
Today, Brooks and Yearwood are happier than ever as they are on tour with record-breaking ticket sales. Watch them sing together in the video below!