Why Garth Brooks Put His Career on Hold for 15 Years

In 2000, the country superstar had recently come off a massive, sold-out tour when he made a shocking move.

Garth Brooks surprised the country music community when he went on an extended hiatus to raise his three daughters, Taylor, 22, August, 20, and Allie, 18. He made this choice after his mom, Colleen died in 1999. He divorced his first wife, and the girls’ mother, Sandy Mahl the same year. He decided it would be best to walk away from music and live in Oklahoma with his daughters.

“People said, ‘How could you walk away from music?'” he said. “But being a dad – there’s nothing that can touch that.”

Raising three girls isn’t easy, though. Brooks filled his days with packing school lunches, helping with homework, chores on the ranch and after-school activities, including soccer games and school plays.

Now an empty nester, Brooks decided it was time to get back to the music he loves so much. He released his ninth studio album, Man Against Machine, in November 2014, and it has since been certified platinum.

Brooks is currently on a world tour with wife Trisha Yearwood and plays to sold-out crowds each night. He is also nominated for an Academy of Country Music entertainer of the year award. See how he fares against country music heavyweights like Miranda Lambert and Luke Bryan during the awards ceremony on April 19.

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Why Garth Brooks Put His Career on Hold for 15 Years