Hard to believe it's been nine years since Garth Brooks and Trisha Yearwood tied the knot in a hush-hush ceremony at the pair's Oklahoma home on December 10, 2005. The nuptials were in stark contrast to Brooks' very public wedding proposal seven months earlier, which was witnessed by Buck Owens, Merle Haggard, George Jones and hundreds of screaming fans.
That surprise engagement took place at Owens' Crystal Palace in Bakersfield, California. Brooks and his then-girlfriend, Yearwood, were on hand to unveil a bronze likeness of Brooks at the famed music venue. When the "Friends in Low Places" superstar yanked off the gold cloth for the big reveal, he pointed out that the statue of Brooks was sporting a wedding band on his left hand.
The singer immediately removed his cowboy hat, dropped to his knee and popped the question, while a shocked Yearwood brushed a tear from her eye and answered, "Yes."
The ensuing nuptials were a long time coming. Brooks and Yearwood met in Nashville in the mid-Eighties, when they were both struggling demo singers. As legend has it, they made a pact that the first person to become successful would help the other's career get off the ground.
In 1989, Brooks released his self-titled debut album to critical and commercial acclaim. He followed that up with the blockbuster No Fences, and in 1991, he took Yearwood on the road as his opening act. That was the same year she scored her first Number One single, "She's in Love With the Boy." The two singers collaborated throughout the rest of the decade, even teaming up for a Number Two country hit, "In Another's Eyes," in 1997. (Watch Brooks and Yearwood sing the song during a live TV performance, years before they began dating, above.)
In the fall of 2000, Brooks stunned the music industry by announcing his retirement, explaining that he would be spending more time with his family until the youngest of his three daughters left home for college. That same year, Brooks and his wife Sandy Mahl called it quits, after 14 years of marriage. Yearwood had already divorced her second husband, bassist Robert Reynolds of the Mavericks.
Yearwood and Brooks' musical chemistry was a known quantity. The personal challenge for the Georgia-born songstress was to adapt to Brooks' life as the father of three young girls in small-town Oklahoma.
In September, Brooks' youngest daughter, Allie, became a college freshman. Now officially out of his self-imposed early retirement, Brooks hit the road on his ambitious Garth Brooks World Tour With Trisha Yearwood.
Man Against Machine, his first studio album in 13 years, appeared on November 11th, followed six days later by Yearwood's new LP, PrizeFighter: Hit After Hit. Both were released via Brooks' own digital store, GhostTunes, as well as traditional retailers.
Today is December 10th, and according to their tour schedule, they have the day off. No word on how this golden couple plans to celebrate its ninth anniversary, but on the 11th, Mr. and Mrs. Brooks (or Miss Yearwood, as Garth refers to the missus) are back on stage for a three-night stand in Little Rock, Arkansas. Funny how everything comes full-circle.