Garth Brooks was scared to death to return to music after hiatus | EW.com

Garth Brooks was scared to death to return to music after hiatus | EW.com

Garth Brooks reveals he was ‘scared to death’ to return to music after 14-year break

The country legend opened up to Gayle King ahead of the 43rd Annual Kennedy Center Honors, airing Sunday, June 6.

June 06, 2021 at 07:46 PM EDT

“So I went to the recruiting office there in Stillwater, for the Marine Corps, [because] my father was a Marine. And I thought I’d surprise my dad by telling him I went,” he said. “And his first words [were], ‘Garth, you don’t wanna do that.'”

Brooks then returned home, marrying his college sweetheart Sandy Mahl, before getting a band together. But during his following attempt to make it big in Nashville, he landed a record deal in less than a year.

There, his first record — a self-titled album — was certified gold and helped launch his career. But as Brooks noted to King, 66, he “probably didn’t handle” fame as well as he could have.

“A nation watches you grow up, right? So you’re gonna make decisions that you go, ‘Man, I wish I could take that one back,'” he said. “But the truth is, now, if changing anything then meant any part of now would change, no thank you.”

Despite finding a huge amount of success professionally, Brooks’ marriage to Mahl began to suffer, so he announced that he would be walking away from the music scene.

“Country is the best place to be,” he continued. “Because, one, you have the most loyal audience there could possibly be, and they will wait for you.”

The 43rd Annual Kennedy Center Honors will be broadcast Sunday, June 6, at 8 p.m. ET on CBS. 

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