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Yearwood, Trisha (19th September 1964-Present)

She is a country music singer born Patricia Lynn Yearwood in Monticello, Georgia, to family where her father is a banker and her mother a teacher.

She was exposed to country music from and early ago and when she was in elementary school she took part in talent contests as well as being in school productions and choirs.  Her love of music continued although through her school years she leant towards looking to work in accountancy when she got older.  To this end she earned her associates degree at Young Harris College and moved on to the University of Georgia to continue her studies.

After a while at the University of Georgia she found it hard to settle into such a widespread campus and decided to move to Nashville in 1985 and entered Belmont University where she became an intern with MTM Records and a tour guide at the Grand Ole Opry and in 1987 was awarded her Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration.  Also in 1987 she married the musician Chris Latham.

After graduating she became a full-time member of staff at MTM Records where she was a backing singer for some of the new artists signed up and also made her own demo recordings.

It was while singing backing for a new artist in 1989 that she first became acquainted with Garth Brooks.  The ensuing friendship and his success resulted in him assisting in getting her demos put together by Garth Fundis and his producer, Allen Reynolds.  She also sang on Garth’s 1990 No Fences and gave a live performance.

The producer Tony Brown who worked for MCA Records noticed her in the live performance and managed to get MCA Nashville to give her a contract.  This led to her being the opener for Garth Brooks on his 1991 US Tour.  That same year she and Chis Latham divorced and her debut self-titled album appeared.  The resultant “She’s in Love with the Boy” made her the first woman for nearly two decades to have her debut single reach the No.1 spot on the country music chart.  The album, which also made her the first woman to sell more than a million copies for her debut, produced a further three Top 10 singles and eventually became 2x Multi-Platinum.  This led to the Academy of Country Music Awards naming her Top New Female Vocalist in 1991 as well as being given the title of Favorite New Country Artist at the 1992 American Music Awards.

Also in 1992 her Hearts in Armor saw her second album hitting the shelves which had appearances/collaborations with Emmylou Harris, Don Henley and Raul Malo.  The album went platinum and of the four singles released from it “Walkaway Joe”, featuring Don Henley, reaching No. 2 and “Wrong Side of Memphis” reaching No.5.  The other two, “Down on May Knees” and “Say You Will” both became Top 20 hits.

The next year, in 1993, her The Song Remembers When came out and the title track went to No. 2 on the country chart and had its video come from a cable TV concert special.  This time she worked in collaboration with Willie Nelson and Rodney Crowell.

Her next album appeared in 1994 which was the holiday songs compilation The Sweetest Gift.  1994 was also the year she married Bobby Reynolds who is the bass player for The Mavericks.

1995 saw her next platinum album, Thinkin’ About You, being released and the first two singles released, the title track and “XXXs and OOOs (An American Girl)” both reached No. 1 on the country chart.  The third single, “I Wanna Go Too Far” also became a Top 10 hit.  The same year her version of “I Fall to Pieces” sung with Aaron Neville won the Best Country Collaboration With Vocals at the Grammy Awards.

Another year on and she performed in Atlanta at the 1996 Summer Olympics closing ceremony and her  Everybody Knows produced yet another No. 1 single, “Believe Me Baby (I Lied)” and the title track made it to No. 5.

The next year it was the turn of her (Songbook) A Collection of Hits which was a compilation of her hit singles as well as three new songs with “How Do I Live”, also recorded by LeAnn Rimes, used for the soundtrack of Con Air and gaining an Academy Award nomination.  It was also a No. 2 hit in the Hot Country Song chart and No. 23 on the Billboard Hot 100. The other new singles were “Perfect Love” which reached No. 1 on the country music chart and “In Another’s Eyes” with Garth Brooks which reached No. 2.   Unsurprisingly the album made it to No. 1 on the Billboard Country Album chart and became 4x Multi-Platinum.  This resulted in awards from the Grammy Awards, the Academy of Country Music and the Country Music Association.  That same year she took on the role of Lieutenance Commander Teresa Coulter in the TV series JAG and continued to make occasional appearances in the show until 2002.

Hardly catching her breath, Where Your Road Leads was released in 1998.  “I Still Love You More”, “Powerful Thing” and “There Goes My Baby” all made it to the Top 10 and the title track, sung with Garth Brooks, became a Top 20 entry.  The same year she was inducted into the Grand Ole Opry as a member and sing in a benefit concert with Luciano Pavarotti.  When 1999 came, she went through her second divorce when she and Bobby Reynolds parted.

Into the new millennium and out came her 2000 release Real Live Woman followed by the 2001 Inside Out.  She collaborated with Don Henley again as well as Vince Gill and Roseanne Cash on Inside Out and its “I Would’ve Loved You Anyway” achieved the No. 4 position on the country chart.  Also in 2001 she got involved with the Children’s Foundation and was the donor of a mobile electronic fun center to the Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital

The next year, in 2002, she took some time for herself.  She would remain fairly quiet for the next couple of years but everything changed again for Trisha, when her long-time friendship with Garth Brooks became romantic and they got married after he had proposed in the middle of a sell-out concert in Bakersfield, California, in 2005.  She also released Jasper County, named after her childhood home county, which was her first album in four years.  It went to No. 1 on the Billboard Country Album chart, No.4 on the Billboard Album chart and reached gold status.  The single relase “Georgia Rain” went to No. 15.  Also in 2005 she was a performed in Broadway Goes Country where she sang “For Good” from Wicked.

In 2006 she and her husband took part in the building of flood walls and structures in New Orleans and Mississippi as part of the work done in aid of Hurricane Katrina relief.  Two years later in 2007 she left MCA Nashville after 16 years in favour of a contract with Big Machine Records.  This saw MCA releasing her Greatest Hits package and Trisha releasing her Heavens, Heartache and the Power of Love on her new label.  It went up to No. 10 on the Country Album chart and No. 30 on the Billboard 200 albums chart and two singles released became Top 30 songs on the country music chart.

In 2008 she made a recording of “My Favourite Things” which was for the benefit of the Sears’ charitable program “Heroes at Home”.  That year she also published Georgia Cooking in an Oklahoma Kitchen which is a selection of her family recipes co-written with her sister and mother.

In 2009 she duetted on “Breaking Apart” with Chris Izaak for his Mr.Lucky and they promoted it on The Chris Isaak Hour show.  She also took part in the “National Women Build Week” where she learnt the construction of basic housing for another of her charities – Habitat for Humanity.

In 2010 she published her second cookery book Home Cooking with Trisha Yearwood which was once again co-written with her mother and sister.

In the 2010s she continued to tour and record and released several chart hitting albums including 2018’s Let’s Be Frank which reached No. 2 on the Billboard Jazz Albums chart and Every Girl which reahed No. 5 in the Billboard Country Albums chart in 2019.

Aside from appearing on her own recordings she has also performed on albums that include Fresh Horses, In Pieces, Ropin’ the Wind, Scarecrow and Sevens by Garth Brooks, Stones in the Road by Mary Chapin Carpenter, Let the Picture Pain Itself by Rodney Crowell, When Love Finds You by Vince Gill, Cowgirl’s Prayer by Emmylou Harris, Greatest Hits: Vol. 3 by Billy Joel, Bradley Barn Session by George Jones, Sure Love by Hal Ketchum, What a Crying Shame by The Mavericks, Starting Over by Reba McEntire, Indigenous by Dougie McLean, On the Rural Route 7609 by John Mellencamp, Heroes by Paul Overstreet, In Spite of Ourselves by John Prine and It’s All Relative by Pam Tillis along with many more.

Her life has been documented in the biography Get Hot or Go Home by Lisa Gubernick.