Trisha Yearwood is an actress, author and country singer. She’s been married to Garth Brooks since 2005, and together the couple have released several hit songs together. “He’s always my best friend. I think that’s one of the really big keys,” Yearwood told She Knows. “I think we have a very strong friendship, which is a solid base, and I think that’s really important because — you know, I’m madly in love with him.”
That said, Brooks is not Yearwood’s first husband. In fact, the multi-faceted entertainer was married twice before. Read on to learn more about Yearwood’s romantic history, her previous marriages, and why she feels that Brooks is her one true love.
1. Yearwood Married Chris Latham In 1987 & They Divorced In 1991
Yearwood married music producer Chris Latham in 1987. It was during the same time that Yearwood got an intern position with MTM Records, and was eventually hired as a full-time employee. During her stint at MTM, she recorded a series of demo tapes, and sang backup vocals for several established artists.
Yearwood continued to rise in prominence as an artist during her first marriage. She landed a record contract and performed live at a label showcase under the tutelage of producer Garth Fundis. That said, her breakout as an artist coincided with her split from Latham in 1991. The couple filed for divorce just as Yearwood’s debut album was being released, which spawned the number one single “She’s In Love with the Boy.”
Yearwood has not spoken at length about her marriage to Latham, but she did admit that she prioritized her career over her personal relationships. “My career has always been more important than my personal life,” she told OK! Magazine. “Failed personal relationships were part of the price I paid for stardom… Luckily, I don’t have to make a choice. But if I did, I’d pick music every time. I just can’t imagine not singing.”
2. Yearwood Married Bassist Robert ‘Bobby’ Reynolds In 1994
Yearwood married Robert “Bobby” Reynolds in 1994. The couple moved to a log cabin-style home in Hendersonville, Tennessee, and were considered to be among the most popular couples in country music at the time. Given their high profile, however, fans were shocked when Yearwood and Reynolds announced their divorce in 1999.
Yearwood opened up about the divorce during an interview with Country Weekly. “Since I do hang on to the past with my fingernails, divorce was difficult,” she explained. “It’s a serious decision involving someone you’re tied to emotionally, so it’s hard to move on. And it’s easy to drag things out so you don’t have to face people talking about you.” She also felt partially to blame for not being able to work things out with Reynolds.
“After the marriage is over, you question yourself. You wonder if something’s wrong with you, which is pretty much where I’ve been,” she said. “But I know I’m a good person. There are parts of my life I want to keep private, and I know my fans will understand.“
Reynolds is the former bassist for The Mavericks, a country band who scored a number of hit singles in the ’90s. The band split in 2000, and Reynolds went on to co-found the super group known as SWAG.
3. Yearwood Felt It Was Important for Her to Be Single After Her Divorce
Yearwood made a point of staying single in the years following her second divorce. “I’ve always been dating or married, so I’ve never been single and alone. I’m learning how to do it,” she told Country Weekly at the time. “Being single is not liberating. I’m not like, ’Oh, boy, I’m single!’ It’s just not comfortable at this point. It’s way too fresh.”
“Right now I’m definitely not looking for someone to fill part of my life,” she added. “I’m taking care of me, and then maybe I’ll be a good partner for someone.” During a separate interview with the Los Angeles Times, Yearwood talked about the ways in which her personal life has shaped her music.
“For me, music has always been the place where I would express myself in ways that I might not do in life. I’m not a very heart-on-my-sleeve kind of person,” she explained. “I don’t just tell everybody my troubles, and I also don’t have like a million friends, I have a few really close friends. So music has always been the outlet to say things that maybe you’d never really say in your life.”
4. Yearwood Became Close Friends with Garth Brooks During Her First Marriage
Yearwood first met Garth Brooks at a recording studio in 1988. Both were married to other people at the time, but they quickly displayed a chemistry in the studio. Yearwood sang backup vocals on Brooks’ 1990 album No Fences, and the country star was so impressed he asked her to be an opening act on his 1991 tour.
While their relationship remained platonic throughout the 1990s, Brooks said he felt a special connection with Yearwood right away. “It’s strange because I felt that feeling like when you just meet your wife, but I’d been married for 13 months,” he admitted. Yearwood echoed the sentiment, adding: “What I remember about that day, singing on the same microphone and it was a duet, felt immediately like I’d been singing with him forever.”
The couple did not begin dating until 2002, when Brooks divorced his wife Sandy Mahl. While they tried to keep things under wraps at first, word eventually got out, and the couple have embraced their “country royalty” status ever since.
5. Yearwood & Brooks Married In 2005 After Dating for Several Years
Yearwood and Brooks married on December 13, 2005 at their home in Owasso, Oklahoma. They raise Brooks’ three children from his previous marriage. During a recent interview with WBUR, Yearwood talked about her relationship with Brooks and how being married to a fellow country star has made things easier for both of them. “Everybody talks about two celebrities being married, how hard that is,” she remarked. “And the only thing hard about it is because we both are really busy.”
“But I think that the advantage to being married to someone who does what you do is to be able to talk about what you do for a living and also to have kind of an unspoken understanding of the drive and the need and the desire that feeds your soul of why you really feel not even like you made a choice to do this, but that you’re called to do it,” she added.
“I think he and I, being the same industry, come as close as two people can to sharing that feeling,” Yearwood concluded. “But there is something about watching him in the ring doing what he does. And sparks do fly from his fingertips. I mean, it is something to behold.”