Who Are Garth Brooks' Daughters — And Where Are They Now?

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Who Are Garth Brooks' Daughters — And Where Are They Now?
Entertainment And News

If you want to kick back and enjoy some entertainment that combines the best of country music with a great story about family, the two-part documentary Garth Brooks: The Road I’m On is the perfect choice.

Now streaming on Netflix, this film gets into the complicated but inspiring story of the best-selling country artist of all time and why he stepped back from all of it for many years because of his family.  

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The country crooner famously retired from performing in 2001, citing the desire to spend more time with his kids who were 4, 6, and 8 years old at the time. He and their mother Sandy Mahl Brooks had just gotten divorced and he realized he had been on the road so much that he barely knew his three girls. He decided to put music on hold until they were grown up and he decided himself to being a full-time dad. That was almost 20 years ago and he has no regrets about this choice. All three daughters are featured in the documentary, all grown up, speaking on how having Garth Brooks as a dad affected them and what their relationship is with him now.

Who are Garth Brooks' daughters — and where are they now? 

Brooks was a huge star by the time he became a dad.

Brooks had been married to his high school sweetheart Sandy Mahl for six years when their oldest daughter Taylor was born. In 1992, he was already a mega-star thanks to his eponymous first album and his hit "Friends in Low Places." In the documentary, he recalls how he had to dodge the paparazzi when he and Mahl tried to take Taylor home from the hospital.

Taylor was joined by sister August in 1994 and Allie in 1996. During their early years, he was often on the road or in the recording studio. Mahl was raising them with the help of nannies and the time apart irreparably damaged their marriage. They divorced in 2001 and Brooks says in the documentary, he realized he wasn't raising his one kids when one of them pronounced a word like one of their nannies did, rather than how he, himself, pronounced a word. That was a lightbulb moment for him. At that point, he made the choice to step back from performing and be a full-time dad to his three daughters. 

His youngest daughter, Allie Brooks, is a singer.

If you're a fan of indie-country, you may have heard of Allie Brooks without realizing it. The 23-year-old is a rising country musician who performs under the name Allie Colleen. She wanted to be a singer from an early age but her dad made her promise to go to college before heading into music full-time.

True to her work, she graduated from Belmont College in Tennessee with a degree in Songwriting and Music Business. As soon as she got her diploma, she hit the road playing small venues and open-air shows trying to build her reputation through hard work and talent, not her family name. 

She says she had an offer from a label at one point but didn't feel like the timing was right to sign. Last fall, she released her first single called "Work in Progress" and followed it with an EP called Wildflower. She is married to Jonathan Roberts, a teacher. 

Allie and Taylor volunteering for Habitat for Humanity.

His middle daughter, August Brooks, is a mom of two.

Photo credit: Youtube

August, 25, who is married to her high school sweetheart Chance Russell, lives in Oklahoma. She was attending the University of Oklahoma and working at a law firm on the side when she and Russell learned they were expecting their first child.

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The whole family pulled together to celebrate the unexpected new addition and Brooks was the proudest grandpa you can imagine.

Not long after the birth of baby Karalynn in 2013 he told reporters that August the best mother had had ever seen. "No offense to my mom, or Ms. Yearwood’s mom, or Sandy’s mom," he said at the time. "I’m not sure any of them could hold a candle to my daughter.”  

In 2016, the Russells welcomed a second daughter, Gwendolyn, to their family. 

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His oldest daughter, Taylor Brooks, is a seminarian.

Photo credit: Youtube

Now 27 years old, Brooks' first child Taylor is the studious one in the family. She got her bachelor's degree in history at Oklahoma State University in 2016.

After that, she decided to attend Vanderbilt University Divinity School where she is working on a Master's in Theological Studies, something that fits with her thoughtful nature. “Taylor is quiet courage,” Brooks says about his oldest child. “Taylor will trade her life for someone she doesn’t know.”

What was it like growing up with Garth Brooks as their dad?

In the documentary, the girls speak affectionately of their father's well-intentioned but clumsy attempts to be a perfect father. “He was a big dinner person," Taylor recalls for the cameras. “He liked to make dinner and could not cook to save his life.” She added that things looked up in the food department when Brooks met his second wife Trisha Yearwood. In addition to being a musician, Yearwood is also an outstanding cook who has won an Emmy for her cooking show Trisha's Southern Kitchen.

The good food was necessary for them since Brooks would put them to work on his farm every summer. When they weren't in school, he would give them big projects to do and pay them for their labor. He said one summer he had them build an entire bridge by themselves. 

How do they cope with fame?

They actually don't. Because their dad wasn't touring during their childhood years, the girls didn't really grow up with the music industry as their backdrop. They switched back and forth between their parent's houses every day and two of them went to college in their native Oklahoma. Even with Yearwood in their lives, they weren't ever in the spotlight and now only Allie has a real public presence on social media. The other two don't have public handles and seem to be very private with what they expose to the public. It seems like Brooks' daughters got the best of all worlds: the creature comforts of a successful parent without the intrusion of fame all the attention that brings with it. 

Garth Brooks: The Road I'm On is streaming on Netflix. 

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Rebekah Kuschmider has been writing about celebrities, pop culture, entertainment, and politics since 2010. She is the creator of the blog FeminXer and she is a cohost of the weekly podcast The More Perfect Union.