Garth Brooks has been a staple in country music for decades, but for 14 years of his career, he stepped back from the spotlight to care for his family. Though the music icon put his dreams aside, he didn’t have to think twice about prioritizing his role as a dad once his three children came “into the mix.”

“Children take the lead. That’s it,” Garth, 59, said while talking about his daughters — Taylor Brooks, 28, August Brooks, 27, and Allie Colleen Brooks, 24 — during an appearance on CBS This Morning in early June. The “Friends in Low Places” crooner noted because his children didn’t ask to be famous, he felt it was his duty to shield them from the public eye.

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“They didn’t want to come in this place. It wasn’t their choice, we brought them in,” Garth explained, referring to his ex-wife, Sandy Mahl. The former couple wed in 1986 but split after 15 years together in 2001.

Aside from slipping away from the spotlight to care for his children, Garth pointed out he also stayed in his relationship with the blonde beauty for the sake of their daughters. “Even though Sandy and I were not going to be able to complete our marriage, we still had our children to raise,” he shared.

Following their split, Garth left Nashville and “moved back to Oklahoma,” where he focused on being the best dad to his kids. However, the transition wasn’t necessarily the easiest for the Grammy Award winner, who jokingly said he got “a crash course in females.”

“[I] got divorced [and] left the music business … [I] was living with three strange women that I did not know,” Garth told Closer Weekly and other reports during an event in November 2019, chatting about life during his Hollywood hiatus. “Females ruled my new world now.”

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Fortunately, Garth started dating fellow country superstar Trisha Yearwood in the early 2000s, and in December 2005, they tied the knot. Not only was the “If Tomorrow Never Comes” artist thrilled to have found new love, but he credited Trisha for stepping up as a stepmother to his daughters.

My best friend showed up. It was good, helped me out a lot,” he gushed about the “She’s in Love With the Boy” songstress. “[Trisha] didn’t have children either. So we were kind of blind leading the blind.”

No matter how difficult fatherhood was at times, Garth wouldn’t trade his family for anything in the world. “Man, [my daughters have me] so wrapped. It’s crazy,” he marveled to Closer and other outlets. “I worship those three girls and they can see it in my face when they see me or surprise me somewhere.”