The Transformation Of Trisha Yearwood From Teenager To 56 Years Old

Trisha Yearwood is a country music queen, but she's also your everyday American girl. From her adorable breakout hit "She's in Love With the Boy" on her double Platinum-certified debut album, to her Food Network cooking show, Yearwood has maintained the same authenticity and relatability. As if her home-grown empire was not enough, she's also married to none other than country's biggest star, Mr. Garth Brooks.

Not only have the two created magical music together — who could forget the steaminess of "In Another's Eyes" — but their joint comeback tour became one of the highest grossing concert tours in history, according to Business Insider. It's all the cherry on top for Yearwood, who appreciates the multi-faceted success, but has always been about the craft. "If you said, 'Trisha, you have to pick one thing that you can do every day for the rest of your life,' I would pick music," she told CBS News in 2013. "That is what feeds my soul."

From her start in music, to a career still blooming at 56, let's take a look at the transformation of Trisha Yearwood.

Trisha Yearwood had an idyllic Southern childhood

Trisha Yearwood, born Patricia Lynn (via Biography), had a simple childhood in farm town Monticello, Georgia. In "XXX's and OOO's," she romantically reminisces on tying "her hair up in ribbons and bows," and "a picture of her mama in heels and pearls," and it sounds like that's not a far cry from the truth. According to Biography, her mother, Gwen Yearwood, was a schoolteacher and her father, Jack Yearwood, was a banker, and the two fostered Trisha's love of classic country acts like Patsy Cline and Hank Williams.

Her parents also inspired her and her sister's love of cooking — she told Country Living their family was "organic heaven, before organic was cool" — and the small community kept a good head on her shoulders. "I don't know if I was a good kid by nature or if I was well-behaved because I realized that if I did something wrong, my parents would probably know about it before I got home," she jokingly said in Good Housekeeping. She did well in school, according to Encyclopedia, and received Outstanding Senior Girl in her graduating class of 1982. Although everyone in her town knew she had big aspirations, and as she told Good Housekeeping, she hit the road soon after turning her tassel.

Garth Brooks was in Trisha Yearwood's life before the fame

In 1985, Trisha Yearwood loaded up her pick up truck and headed out to Nashville where she attended Belmont University and majored in business administration, according to Country Weekly (via The Country Daily). Thanks to an internship with MTM Records, she picked up on the inner workings of the industry and started to make a name for herself as a demo singer.

Through her demo work, she happened to meet a little-known country crooner by the name of Garth Brooks. The two cut a demo together in a tiny attic studio owned by songwriter Kent Blazy, Yearwood told CMT in 2009. Her paycheck was $10, while Brooks sang for free. It seems the real payoff was yet to come. "We hit it off," Yearwood told CMT. "But I had no idea he'd turn out to be Garth Brooks!" Brooks recruited her to sing backup for his debut album and 1990's follow up No Fences, promising she could open for him on tour once he got big (via CMT). After Brooks released his debut single "Much Too Young (To Feel This Damn Old)" in 1989, the rest was history.

Audiences were in love with Trisha Yearwood's first album

Trisha Yearwood's success as a backup singer, and the endorsement of Garth Brooks, scored her a showcase performance in 1990 that led to a record deal with MCA, according to All Music. Her self-titled debut album was released in 1991 with bubbly and heartwarming lead single "She's in Love With the Boy," which quickly shot to the top of the country charts. The cutesy tale of teenage love despite the odds was only the beginning, and the top-10 success of Yearwood's next singles "The Woman Before Me," "That's What I Like About You," and "Like We Never Had a Broken Heart" helped solidify Yearwood as country's new female frontrunner.

Thanks to her stint touring with Brooks and a handful of radio hits, Yearwood became the first female singer in country music to sell a million copies of her debut album, according to All Music. The record would later be certified double Platinum for selling over two million copies, helping Yearwood take home Top New Female Vocalist at the 1991 ACM Awards.

As Trisha Yearwood's career took off, her marriage ended

As Trisha Yearwood's career began to take off, her first marriage began to fizzle. According to Country Weekly (via The Country Daily), Yearwood married first husband Chris Latham in 1987 after she graduated from Belmont. While the two stayed together through her first few formative years in the industry, Country Weekly reported they called it quits in 1991. By this time, Yearwood had already met Garth Brooks, the man who would become her forever love, but her career was front of mind. "I'm a good Southern girl who grew up wanting to please everybody," she told the outlet in 2000. "That makes any kind of change a horrible, gut-wrenching experience for me — even if it's the best thing."

After the divorce and even years later, Yearwood has rarely spoken about Latham, who still works as a music producer. Her privacy is not totally unexpected, however, considering she has maintained healthy boundaries as a public figure since the beginning. "There are parts of my life I want to keep private," she told Country Weekly. "And I know my fans will understand."

Trisha Yearwood became a country music powerhouse

Through the '90s, Trisha Yearwood continued to dominate country music, "recording a string of Top Ten hits that ran from 1991 to 2001," according to All Music. Her second album, 1992's Hearts in Armor, was released to critical acclaim, with Entertainment Weekly writing that it "[showcased] her voice as the first record never did, revealing ... an ability to wrench the utmost emotion from a lyric." The album featured top five hits "Wrong Side of Memphis" and "Walkaway Joe," the latter of which featured an adorably young Matthew McConaughey in its video. The album was certified Platinum by the RIAA, and as All Music wrote, helped establish her as "an artist of creative ambition."

Yearwood's third album, The Song Remembers When, was also warmly received by critics, selling over a million copies according to the RIAA. Its wistful title track peaked at No. 2 on the country charts.

A song for a TV movie is now a Trisha Yearwood classic

After receiving nods for both "She's in Love With the Boy" and "Walkaway Joe," Trisha Yearwood finally won her first Grammy Award in 1994 for Best Country Vocal Collaboration with Aaron Neville. In 1995, Yearwood released her fifth album Thinkin' About You, and while All Music called it "one of the few Yearwood albums that can be called a disappointment," its commercial success plus a Grammy nod for Best Country Album proved the critics wrong.

The LP's title track and its lead single "XXX's And OOO's (An American Girl)" scored her back-to-back No. 1 hits on the country charts, with the latter track becoming a standard in Yearwood's catalog. The song might be remembered as a huge hit, but it was originally conceived for the soundtrack to oft-forgotten and poorly received TV movie XXX's & OOO's, which Entertainment Weekly called "a soap opera set to a soundtrack" before describing Yearwood's contribution as "treacly." Considering the song serves as the theme to her Food Network show Trisha's Southern Kitchen, we'd say she got the last laugh!

Trisha Yearwood has a TV career in the JAG, er, bag

After landing guest roles on Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman and Ellen, Trisha Yearwood put her acting chops to the test with a recurring role as Lieutenant Commander Teresa Coulter on CBS military show JAG. Yearwood reprised her role on the show from 1997 to 2002. She described her character to The Chicago Tribune as "a really smart woman and very (much) an expert in what she does," adding the role marked the first time she truly played "a character." The gig's low commitment proved to be a good outlet for expanding her talents without infringing on her schedule. "It doesn't interfere with the music at all, and it allows me a chance to try my acting in an atmosphere that I'm comfortable in," she said.

While JAG marks her biggest foray into acting, Yearwood also portrayed Mary in Fox's 2016 musical The Passion and continues to make guest appearances as herself on programs like Who Do You Think You Are? and CMA Country Christmas. While acting is not her focus, she told In Touch in 2017 that she would be open to Broadway or "a little role in an independent film."

A movie song led Trisha Yearwood to the Grand Ole Opry

In 1997, Trisha Yearwood was tapped to sing "How Do I Live" for Jerry Bruckheimer's action film Con Air. While Yearwood's rendition failed to duplicate the crossover success that LeAnn Rimes' version achieved, her version ultimately accompanied the film and scored her, as Country Weekly (via The Country Daily) put it, the "country music triple crown": She won Best Female Vocalist at the 1997 ACM Awards and CMA Awards, as well as Best Female Country Vocal Performance at the 1997 Grammys.

The cinema hit and accolades led to Yearwood's invitation to join legendary country music venue The Grand Ole Opry as its 71st member in 1999, according to the Opry's website. Yearwood was no stranger to the stage, having married The Maverick's bassist Robert Reynolds in the Opry's Ryman Auditorium in 1994, as Country Weekly reported.

Trisha Yearwood's second divorce was 'difficult'

After five years, Trisha Yearwood and Robert Reynolds filed for divorce in October 1999, coming "as no big surprise to their friends because [of] the demands ... of their careers," The New York Daily News reported. After taking the year off, Yearwood told Country Weekly (via The Country Daily) that the divorce was "difficult," adding, "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." After the dissolution of her second marriage, Yearwood also admitted to questioning herself, adding that "you wonder if something's wrong with you ... But I know I'm a good person."

Yearwood came back strong with her eighth album Real Live Woman. The album and its title track scored dual nods at the 2000 Grammy Awards, and her post-divorce clarity seemed to give her newfound confidence. She told Country Weekly that the record's message on "physical perfection" was especially important to her, and she wanted to be "the poster child for accepting yourself the way you are."

Sparks flew between Trisha Yearwood and her duet partner

Garth Brooks and Trisha Yearwood's relationship was a long time coming, considering they knew each other before they were famous and already had a handful of seductive duets together, including 1997's "In Another's Eyes." The track, which was released when Brooks was married to his wife Sandy Mahl and Yearwood was attached to Robert Reynolds, recalls the inner turmoil of cheating. Oops. The duo ended up taking home a Grammy Award for the track that year.

To Brooks' credit, he sensed there was something there straight away. "[After meeting her,] 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,'" he recalled on The Ellen DeGeneres Show in 2013. According to Daily Mail, Brooks and his wife officially divorced in 2000, at which point he quietly began dating Yearwood before they married in 2005. Yearwood told Country Weekly (via The Country Daily) in 2000 that she "never believed [she wouldn't] be complete without children," although she embraced Brooks' three daughters wholeheartedly. "When we got married five years ago, we married the girls, so the five of us always celebrate together," she told People in 2010.

Jasper County marked Trisha Yearwood's return to country

After the release of 2001's Inside Out, Trisha Yearwood took a four year hiatus, "one part creative, one part personal" as her relationship with Garth Brooks started to bloom, according to AllMusic. Her tenth album Jasper County was released in 2005 along the backdrop of her engagement to Brooks. Yearwood had previously relocated from Nashville to Oklahoma, where Brooks had retired to raise his family, and she adjusted well. "I wasn't sure if I could do it or not," Yearwood told CMT. "I just thought ... 'I love this man, so I want to be where he is. And this is where he is going to be raising his children.'"

The world was hooked on their love story, and although they married in a small, private ceremony (via People), fans turned out for Yearwood's new LP, scoring her the highest peak of her career on the Billboard 200 with its release. She duetted with Brooks on "Love Will Always Win" for his 2005 collection of unreleased material, and the track became a top 40 country hit

Trisha Yearwood isn't a one-record label gal

Trisha Yearwood left MCA Records after 16 years in 2007, signing with then-indie country label Big Machine Records which had picked up steam as the home of Taylor Swift, according to CMT. Her first album on the label, Heaven, Heartache, and the Power of Love, arrived the same year. Despite what its calamitous title may suggest, Yearwood had finally found herself living problem-free. "There were a lot of years in my adult life in relationships that I needed drama," she told CMT in 2007. "Thank goodness, you finally come to a place if you're very lucky, that you go, 'That's ridiculous. No more drama.'" As for heartache, she maintained that she was lucky to be married to Garth Brooks, as she "would never get over that one."

Perhaps the drama was not sight unseen, as the album would be the only project Yearwood released with Big Machine Records. She would go on to drop albums under her own record label, Gwendolyn Records, starting with 2014's Prizefighter: Hit After Hit.

Trisha Yearwood keeps cooking on the small screen

Trisha Yearwood began to dive into the culinary world with her first cookbook, 2008's Georgia Cooking in an Oklahoma Kitchen. She penned the New York Times bestseller with her mother and sister, according to People. "I love to cook — it's second to music, my greatest passion," she told the outlet in 2008. She released two more cookbooks in 2010 and 2015, respectively, and revealed to WIN 98.5 in 2020 that she has plans for a fourth.

In 2012, she took her passion to the small screen with Food Network cooking show Trisha's Southern Kitchen. The show features Yearwood cooking mostly her own recipes, alongside guests like Kelly Clarkson, Reba McEntire, and hubby Garth Brooks. The show has run for more than 11 seasons, winning an Emmy for Outstanding Culinary Program in 2013, according to the Lincoln Journal Star. Yearwood never imagined that she'd be a television chef, considering she didn't discover cooking until she began to miss her mother's home cooked meals in college. "I'm a Virgo, so by nature I'm in the middle of everything I do," she told Lincoln Journal Star of her hands-on approach to filming. According to the outlet, she plans to do the show "as long as she can, to pay tribute to her parents."

Garth Brooks and Trisha Yearwood try 'to not be apart'

Trisha Yearwood and Garth Brooks have been happily married since 2005, and it seems their secret is space — or lack thereof. "Honestly, we are apart maybe five days a year," she told Us Weekly in 2019. "We really have made a conscious effort since getting married to not be apart, so we've toured together."

Yearwood has joined him at every stop since his grand return to touring, starting with his four-year Vegas residency Garth at Wynn in 2009 (via Los Angeles Times), following into his massive worldwide comeback tour which ran from 2014 to 2017, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. The experience was a tremendous joy for the couple, who are still just as passionate about their music, and feel anything but burnt out. "I want to sing as long as I can," Yearwood told AJC in 2017, as they approached their final stop. "I've been on tour for 26 years and I've never experienced anything like this."

Country queen Trisha Yearwood isn't going anywhere

Even after an expansive career in music, Southern cuisine, and the small screen, Trisha Yearwood still loves what she's doing and her husband. "Everybody talks about two celebrities being married, how hard that is," she told WBUR in 2019. "The only thing hard about it is because we both are really busy." However, there's some perks! Being married to a fellow musician, Yearwood said there's "an unspoken understanding of the drive and the need and the desire" to perform, and the feeling that "you're called to do it."

In 2019, she released Every Girl, her first country album in 12 years, to rave reviews. After more than thirty years in country music, its title still speaks to how listeners and viewers across the world see her. "I really am sort of every girl," she told WBUR. "I came from a very small town and wanted to be a singer ... but I didn't know anybody who was doing this. So I kind of feel like I'm the one who gets to do it all for all of us." We felt that one, Trisha!