Garth Brooks and Trisha Yearwood are living proof that — like their song says — love will always win. Though both were married to other people when they first met back in 1987, there was an undeniable connection between them. Years later, when they found themselves suddenly single at the same time, that connection turned romantic. In a new interview for the Friday, Nov. 29, episode of The Ellen DeGeneres Show, Brooks opens up about falling in love with Yearwood, whom he married in December 2005.
Asked by DeGeneres how the two came to be friends (and then more than friends), the “Wrapped Up in You” singer explained that songwriter Kent Blazy had introduced them. Blazy thought Brooks would like the “How Do I Live” chanteuse — and he was right.
“When she left, he goes, ‘What did you think?’ I said, ‘Well, it’s strange, because I felt that feeling like when you just meet your wife, but I’ve been married for 13 months,'” Brooks recalled.
At the time, the country star was wed to his college sweetheart, Sandy Mahl. And though he felt a spark with Yearwood, he was committed to being a good husband and spending his life with Mahl. “Being married, it’s got to be right. This is who you went to college with, and you were married in front of God and your family and everything,” he told DeGeneres. “So you keep hacking, and you work and you work and you work. And then comes that time where you’re looking at the rest of your life going, ‘How do you want to live it?'”
The spouses, who have three children together, filed for divorce in late 2000. Yearwood — previously married to Chris Latham and Robert Reynolds — happened to be newly single, as well, so she and Brooks started dating.
“This was somebody I always enjoyed being around. And we had a lot more in common than I ever dreamed we did. And so we started seeing each other after the divorce,” he said. “We’d known each other music-wise, but we got to see each other as people. And I’ve got to tell you, if you like her and don’t know her, you’ll love her. If you love her and don’t know her, you’ll worship her. She’s the real deal.”
Their romance is the real deal, too. “I’ve got to tell you, I never knew it could be like this,” the 51-year-old crooner told DeGeneres of life with Yearwood. “I never knew that everyday you could wake up and feel like this. And I have God and I have Ms. Yearwood to thank for this.”
Brooks also gushed about his wife’s many talents and endeavors, which include a music career, a Food Network cooking show, and three cookbooks. “I’m part of the working wives club,” he joked. “I lay out at the pool with the other husbands.”
“She’s the bomb, man. She does it all,” he added. So, what’s the thing she does best?
“Make no mistake — Ms. Yearwood was born to sing. That’s just what she does…I’ll put her in the top five female voices of all time. She’s that good.”