Garth Brooks Met Trisha Yearwood While He Was Still Married To Sandy Mahl

Garth Brooks and Trisha Yearwood have been happily married since 2005, which is a lifetime in Hollywood. Aside from both being country stars in their own right, Brooks has appeared on his wife's cooking show, "Trisha's Southern Kitchen," and she has collaborated on a bunch of his songs. It genuinely seems like they were always meant to be. And yet, the fact is that Brooks was married to someone else for a while, even if Yearwood appears to be his soulmate. 

He and Sandy Mahl tied the knot in May 1986. The pair met, as the story goes, when Brooks was still a club bouncer in Oklahoma and she happened to get into a brawl at the establishment. As it turns out, they were both students at Oklahoma State University too. Mahl was around long before Brooks was famous, but she was also fully supportive of his career. Mahl even reportedly left her hometown to help him with his songwriting and start a family. 

Eventually, they had three daughters, and Mahl was credited with writing one song on his debut album, "I've Got A Good Thing Going." It seemed like everything was looking up for the couple, who went from scraping by with Brooks selling boots to make ends meet to him becoming world famous by topping the Billboard charts. But, after meeting Yearwood in 1987, at which point he had only been a married man for just over a year, everything changed.

Yearwood was in love with the boy

When Garth Brooks appeared on "The Ellen Show" in 2013 he recalled his first meeting with Trisha Yearwood: "It's strange because I felt that feeling like when you just meet your wife, but I've been married for 13 months." The country crooners just happened to bump into each other in the attic studio of songwriter Kent Blazy, who had asked the then label-less demo singers to come and record a few tracks. Brooks and Yearwood had more in common than they could have imagined, as both were on the cusp of taking the country music world by storm. 

As Yearwood admitted to CMT, "We hit it off, but I had no idea he would turn out to be Garth Brooks!" (via People). After their meeting, Yearwood reportedly walked away with $10 for the demo recording (Brooks got nothing) and a promise from her future husband that he would help catapult her to stardom as soon as he was officially signed to a label.

Indeed, the two sang backup vocals on a number of each other's tracks before officially collaborating with one another in 1998. By that time, Brooks had found success with "Much Too Young (To Feel This Damn Old)" and Yearwood with "She's In Love with the Boy," and oh boy was she, though they didn't make it official until 2002, following Brooks' divorce.

Mahl had a surprising response

Garth Brooks and his first wife, Sandy Mahl, finalized their divorce in 2001 after being married for a decade and a half. The date was 14 years since he met Trisha Yearwood, and it would only be another six months until they stepped out as a couple together. Yearwood and Brooks' history, paired with the fact that he felt she was his soulmate at their first meeting despite the wedding ring on his finger, seems like it would make for a pretty tense situation. However, Mahl doesn't hate her ex. Moreover, she was actually supportive of the union between him and Yearwood.

In his 2019 documentary, "Garth Brooks: The Road I'm On," Mahl admitted, "We both grew apart really, really quickly," referring to the period when he rose to fame in the '90s (via Good Housekeeping). Alternatively, Brooks had nothing but compliments for his former wife, detailing how when he was traveling, she held it all together despite him not realizing their relationship had taken a turn for the worse. 

Post-divorce and pre-second marriage, Mahl reportedly gave Brooks her approval, saying, "I think this is a really good move for you, and I think this is a really good move for our children," (via Rolling Stone). After hearing Mahl's take in his documentary, Brooks told Fox News, "My respect and love for her [Mahl] is through the roof." Fortunately, it seems like all three members of the former love triangle are now in a really good place.