Garth Brooks: I chose my daughters over fame

Garth Brooks - I Chose My Daughters Over Fame


Garth Brooks definitely doesn't regret retiring from music in 2000 to raise his three daughters Taylor, 22, August, 20, and Allie, 18, from his first marriage to Sandy Mahl.

In a new interview with People, the 53-year-old country superstar explains his big -- and rare -- decision to walk away from the spotlight. Following his split from Mahl in 2000, he and his daughters lived in a one-bathroom bunkhouse on his ranch in Oklahoma.

"People said, 'How could you walk away from music?'" he recalls. "But being a dad -- there's nothing that can touch that."

26 PHOTOS
Garth Brooks through the years
See Gallery
Garth Brooks: I chose my daughters over fame
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 17: ASCAP Award recipient, singer-songwriter Garth Brooks performs during the ASCAP Centennial Awards at The Waldorf Astoria on November 17, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Mike Pont/FilmMagic)
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 17: ASCAP Award recipient, singer-songwriter Garth Brooks (R) and wife, singer Trisha Yearwood attend the ASCAP Centennial Awards at The Waldorf Astoria on November 17, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Mike Pont/FilmMagic)
NASHVILLE, TN - NOVEMBER 05: Trisha Yearwood and Garth Brooks attend the 48th annual CMA Awards at the Bridgestone Arena on November 5, 2014 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Jon Kopaloff/FilmMagic)
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 07: Singer Garth Brooks enters the 'Good Morning America' taping at the ABC Times Square Studios on November 7, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Ray Tamarra/GC Images)
NASHVILLE, TN - NOVEMBER 05: Garth Brooks speaks onstage during the 48th annual CMA Awards at the Bridgestone Arena on November 5, 2014 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Rick Diamond/Getty Images)
NASHVILLE, TN - NOVEMBER 05: Garth Brooks presents Luke Bryan with the award for Entertainer of the Year ontsage durring the 48th annual CMA Awards at the Bridgestone Arena on November 5, 2014 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Rick Diamond/Getty Images)
NASHVILLE, TN - NOVEMBER 05: Garth Brooks presents during the 48th annual CMA awards at the Bridgestone Arena on November 5, 2014 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Jason Davis/WireImage)
NASHVILLE, TN - NOVEMBER 05: Trisha Yearwood and Garth Brooks attend the 48th annual CMA Awards at the Bridgestone Arena on November 5, 2014 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Larry Busacca/Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NV - APRIL 06: Recording artists Dustin Lynch (L) and Garth Brooks attend the 49th Annual Academy of Country Music Awards at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on April 6, 2014 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/ACMA2014/Getty Images for ACM)
ATLANTA, GA - SEPTEMBER 19: Garth Brooks performs at Philips Arena on September 19, 2014 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by CatMax Photography/WireImage)
ATLANTA, GA - SEPTEMBER 19: Garth Brooks performs at Philips Arena on September 19, 2014 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Marcus Ingram/Getty Images)
ATLANTA, GA - SEPTEMBER 19: Garth Brooks attends a press conference at Children's Healthcare of Atlanta at Scottish Rite on September 19, 2014 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Chris McKay/Getty Images)
ROSEMONT, IL - SEPTEMBER 05: Garth Brooks performs on stage at Allstate Arena on September 5, 2014 in Rosemont, United States. (Photo by Daniel Boczarski/Redferns via Getty Images)
ROSEMONT, IL - SEPTEMBER 05: Garth Brooks performs on stage at Allstate Arena on September 5, 2014 in Rosemont, United States. (Photo by Daniel Boczarski/Redferns via Getty Images)
ROSEMONT, IL- SEPTEMBER 04: Garth Brooks talks to the media during his World Tour Press Conference on September 4, 2014 at Allstate Arena in Rosemont, Illinois. (Photo by David Banks/Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NV - APRIL 06: (L-R) Musicians Tim McGraw, George Strait and Garth Brooks attend the 49th Annual Academy of Country Music Awards at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on April 6, 2014 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Rick Diamond/ACMA2014/Getty Images for ACM)
LAS VEGAS, NV - APRIL 06: Singer/songwriter Merle Haggard (R) accepts the ACM Crystal Milestone Award from (L-R) Recording artists Garth Brooks, Miranda Lambert and George Strait onstage during the 49th Annual Academy of Country Music Awards at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on April 6, 2014 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
THE TONIGHT SHOW WITH JAY LENO -- Episode 4610 -- Pictured: Musical guest Garth Brooks performs on February 6, 2014 -- (Photo by: Chris Haston/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES - DECEMBER 9: Country music star Garth Brooks sits down with the hosts of THE TALK, Monday, Dec. 9, 2013 on the CBS Television Network. From left, Garth Brooks and Sharon Osbourne, shown. (Photo by Heather Wines/CBS via Getty Images)
GOOD MORNING AMERICA - Garth Brooks announced his upcoming tour, on GOOD MORNING AMERICA, 12/9/13, airing on the ABC Television Network. (Photo by Ida Mae Astute/ABC via Getty Images) GARTH BROOKS
UNIVERSAL CITY, CA - NOVEMBER 27: Garth Brooks visits 'Extra' at Universal Studios Hollywood on November 27, 2013 in Universal City, California. (Photo by Noel Vasquez/Getty Images)
THE TONIGHT SHOW WITH JAY LENO -- Episode 4576 -- Pictured: (l-r) Country singer Garth Brooks during an interview with host Jay Leno on November 27, 2013 -- (Photo by: Paul Drinkwater/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NV - APRIL 06: (L-R) Recording artists Garth Brooks, Miranda Lambert and George Strait speak onstage during the 49th Annual Academy of Country Music Awards at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on April 6, 2014 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
NASHVILLE, TN - NOVEMBER 22: (Exclusive Coverage) Trisha Yearwood, Styx's Tommy Shaw, Jeanne Mason, and Garth Brooks attend Playin' Possum! The Final No Show Tribute To George Jones at Bridgestone Arena on November 22, 2013 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Rick Diamond/NJ/Getty Images for Webster PR)
NASHVILLE, TN - NOVEMBER 22: Trisha Yearwood and Garth Brooks perform during Playin' Possum! The Final No Show Tribute To George Jones - Show at Bridgestone Arena on November 22, 2013 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Terry Wyatt/Getty Images)
HIDE CAPTION
SHOW CAPTION
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE

PHOTOS: Stars Share Pics of Their Cute Kids

Garth admits that at first, he "didn't know" his own kids.

"I'd just stare at them," he says. "I knew their sweet faces and their dispositions. But I didn't know who they were."

But that changed when he started engaging in familiar parenting activities like packing school lunches, doing chores and participating in after-school activities.

"The dads across the soccer field looked at me as a dad just like them," he says. "And I was very grateful."

But now that his kids have all graduated from high school, Garth has more time to get back to the music. His latest album, Man Against Machine, is already certified platinum.

"Our statement has always been the same: We got one baby left in high school and then we'll figure out what's left for me and Ms. Yearwood," he told ET's Nancy O'Dell in November 2013 about his future plans for he and his wife, fellow country star Trisha Yearwood. A year later last November, he became visibly choked up while speaking about the years spent raising their daughters in a press conference announcing his big comeback: "I found my purpose for the rest of my life," he said.

VIDEO: Hunter Hayes Teases Garth Brooks Collaboration

Watch the video below to hear him dish to ET on his new music, as well as his touching surprise for Teresa Shaw, a fan battling cancer.



More on AOL.com
Mischa Barton sues parents over earnings
Kardashian parkings signs pop up in LA

Read Full Story

Sign up for Entertainment Insider by AOL to get the hottest pop culture news delivered straight to your inbox!

Subscribe to our other newsletters

Emails may offer personalized content or ads. Learn more. You may unsubscribe any time.