Garth Brooks Admits to Being ‘Horrible’ Husband and Dad in the Past: “I Had to Get My S**t Together”

Garth Brooks is getting real about some of the changes he has made as a parent and husband over the past few decades. In a recent interview with Billboard, the 61-year-old country music star admitted he wasn’t the best father or husband earlier in his career, but has tried to right those wrongs in recent years.

Brooks was initially married to songwriter Sandy Mahl – the couple tied the knot in May 1986 and stayed together for 13 years. They eventually split in March 1999 and finalized their divorce in December 2001, but not before welcoming three daughters – Taylor, 30, August, 29, and Allie, 26 – into this world. 

“I sucked at being a husband, I was horrible at it. I was horrible at being a dad. I had to get my s–t together,” Brooks said in his Billboard interview. He acknowledged the negative headlines he used to make earlier in his career and admits he would’ve been canceled back then if the times were different. 

“I was on the front page of the USA Today for being a bad husband and man. I’d have never survived that if there had been social media, ever,” Garth Brooks continued. It got to a point where he knew a change needed to be made – and he made it when he started dating fellow country artist, Trisha Yearwood

The couple initially met in 1988 and struck a friendship almost immediately, but it wasn’t until Brooks and Mahl divorced that they started dating. They dated for three years before Brooks popped the question and tied the knot on December 10, 2005 – the couple have been happily married for the past 17 years. 

“I will tell you this, the person you’re with [does make] a huge difference in your life,” Brooks said of his wife, who he described as an incredible ‘bonus mom’ to his three daughters. The couple have gushed over each other on numerous occasions over the past two decades and know how to keep things fresh. 

In May, Yearwood talked about how they’re still heavily involved in the flirting game and admitted how every day is like a first date with her husband. In a separate interview, Brooks acknowledge how obvious it was as to why he loves his wife. “Come on, you can see why I’m in love with her,” he told E! News

In his Billboard interviewGarth Brooks talked about cancel culture and how he isn’t one to stop listening to artists just because they get canceled. “Just because all the sudden The Chicks were canceled, don’t make the mistake of thinking their music wasn’t any good. Their music was fantastic,” he explained. 

He went on to acknowledge some of the artists he looks forward to listening to new music from artists like Luke CombsThe Chicks, and Lainey Wilson. And for those wondering, Brooks is looking to release some new music of his own in the near future as he embarks on his new residency in Las Vegas, Nevada.

The country music star expects to release new music under his Chris Gaines persona, which refers to his alternative rock alter-ego, and also expects to release a new duets album with his wife, Trisha Yearwood. As for his new residency on The Strip, fans can watch him perform at The Colosseum at Caesars Palace. 

And that’s not all Garth Brooks has in the works right now. Outside of his music career, Brooks is in the midst of opening a new bar in Nashville, Tennessee. The bar will be called the ‘Friends in Low Places Bar & Honky Tonk’ and will be located at 411 Broadway – at the epicenter of famed Lower Broadway.