Garth Brooks, 61, and Trisha Yearwood, 59, are country’s favorite couple. But before they were in love, before they raised Garth’s three daughters together, and before they became country royalty, they were simply friends. The couple ultimately married in 2005 and celebrated their 18th wedding anniversary on December 10, 2023.
“When it comes to the future, I think what you’re just grateful for is just one more day, right? Of getting to do this,” he said during an emotional November 2023 appearance on The Kelly Clarkson Show. “So I think that’s it. What I’d love to say is the day I take my last breath on this planet, I’d love for my three girls to be around me and I’d love for the queen to be around me.” Garth added, “I’ve said this before, I found her in the past life, I’ll find her in the next.”
As Trisha prepares to co-host the annual CMA Country Christmas special with Amy Grant on ABC on December 14, take a look back at her epic romance with Garth.
1987: Garth and Trisha Meet in an Attic Studio
Garth met Trisha in the late 1990s, as both their careers were just beginning. According to PEOPLE, that first meeting took place at a demo recording at the attic studio of fellow songwriter Kent Blazy. During an interview on The Ellen DeGeneres Show in 2013, Garth said Kent asked what he thought after he introduced them. “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 telling Kent.
Trisha, for her part, admitted to “hitting it off” straight away with Garth. “We hit it off,” she told CMT back in 2009. “But I had no idea he would turn out to be Garth Brooks!”
“This was somebody that I always enjoyed being around, and we had a lot more in common than I ever dreamed we did,” Garth explained to Ellen DeGeneres. “And so we started seeing each other after the divorce.” Garth had previously been married to songwriter Sandy Mahl from 1986 to 2001, with whom he welcomed three daughters. Trisha had also previously been married to Chris Latham from 1987-1991, and Robert Reynolds from 1994-1999.
1991: Trisha Opens for Garth
Per Us Weekly, Trisha opened for Garth in 1991, sang on his album No Fences, and signed a contract that year.
1998: Garth and Trisha Nab a Grammy
Garth and Trisha proved they are a professional force to be reckoned with on February 25, 1998, when they nabbed a Grammy Award for their duet “In Another’s Eyes.” The collaboration — their first significant collab together — appeared on Trisha’s album (Songbook) A Collection of Hits in 1997.
That year, at the 33rd ACM Awards, Garth took home Entertainer of the Year, while Trisha was honored with Top Female Vocalist of the Year.
2001: They officially begin dating
Garth and his ex-wife, Sandy, finalized their divorce on December 17, 2001. Per BBC News, at the time they stated they’d been separated since March of 1999, and papers were filed in November of 2000. Garth and Trisha officially began their courtship shortly thereafter.
2002: Garth and Trisha Make Their Red-Carpet Debut
Garth was honored Brooks with the Howie Richmond Hitmaker Award at the Songwriters Hall of Fame induction ceremony on June 13, 2002. That just so happened to be the event the dynamic duo chose to make their red-carpet debut as a couple. At the New York City ceremony, Trisha rocked a black fringe vest, while Garth went cowboy chic in a cowboy hat and jeans.
2005: Garth Proposes
By 2005, things were on a fast track for Garth and Trisha, and on May 25 of that year, he got down on one knee — in front of 7,000 audience members. It all went down during the Legends In Bronze concert and dedication at Buck Owens’ Crystal Palace in Bakersfield, California. During the romantic surprise proposal, Trisha wiped tears away from her face as the audience cheered, per the Bakersfield Californian.
“Garth proposed to me and I’m freaking out onstage in front of 7,000 people. But I did say yes,” she told Us Weekly about the proposal in a 2021 interview. “I was very surprised that’s what happened that night.”
December 2005: Garth and Trisha Tie the Knot
Garth and Trisha had a romantic private ceremony at home in Tulsa, Oklahoma, on December 10, 2005. “It’s the perfect Christmas gift to each other,” Garth said at the time, according to PEOPLE. “We could not be happier.”
2014: The Couple Heads Out on World Tour Together
In September of 14, Garth and Trisha embarked on the ambitious Garth Brooks World Tour with Trisha Yearwood. It consisted of a 3-year, 390 show tour across a whopping 79 cities, and it wouldn’t wrap until December of 2017. At the kickoff event in Illinois, Garth couldn’t contain his emotions when speaking to the press.
“You’re looking at the luckiest, most blessed guy on the planet,” he said of the joint tour. “I’m madly in love with her and I can’t stand to spend a day without her.”
2021: Garth and Trisha Quarantine Together
Garth reiterated his dedication to his talented wife in a February 2021 statement, acknowledging she had contracted COVID-19. “Anyone who knows me knows my world begins and ends with Miss Yearwood, so she and I will ride through this together,” he said in a statement in 2021. “And anyone who knows her knows she’s a fighter and she’s been doing everything right, so I know we’ll walk out the other side of this thing together.”
2023: The Couple Celebrates 18 Years of Marriage
In a December 10, 2023 Instagram post, Trisha shared with fans that she and her husband are thinking alike after almost two decades together. “When your husband sends you flowers and you send him flowers and the card says exactly the same thing!” she captioned an anniversary photo of two gorgeous bouquets, adding the hashtags #happy18, #love, and #morethanever.
This story originally appeared on Hollywood Life