Before country singer Garth Brooks tied the knot with current wife Trisha Yearwood in 2005, he was married to ex-wife Sandy Mahl for more than a decade. But who is Sandy, and why did their marriage come to an end? Plus, are the exes on good terms today?

Who Is Garth Brooks’ Ex-Wife Sandy Mahl?

Sandy is a songwriter who helped cowrite Garth’s tune “I’ve Got A Good Thing Going” from his debut album, as well as his 1993 hit “That Summer.” The Oklahoma native is also the cofounder of a non-profit wildlife rehabilitation center called Wild Heart Ranch, according to Wide Open Country.

When Did Garth Brooks Marry Sandy Mahl?

Garth and Sandy met in a bar near Oklahoma State University, where he studied on a track scholarship and competed in the javelin. Sandy was also a student at the college at the time. The couple went on to tie the knot in May 1986, when Sandy was 21 years old and Garth was 24 years old.

Do Garth Brooks and Sandy Mahl Have Kids?

Garth welcomed daughter Taylor Mayne Pearl in 1992, followed by daughter August Anna in 1994. The former couple had their third daughter, Allie Colleen Brooks, in 1996.

Who Is Garth Brooks' Ex-Wife? Inside His First Marriage
Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

Why Did Garth Brooks and Sandy Mahl Get Divorced?

Garth announced in October 2000 that he and Sandy were getting divorced after 14 years of marriage. “Sandy and I both agree that we need to get divorced,” he told Billboard magazine at the time, per Yahoo Music. “Right now, we’re focusing on the impact it will have on the children and how to handle that best, to remain parents even if we don’t remain husband and wife.”

Garth filed for divorce on November 6, 2000, and the filing revealed that he and Sandy had separated in March 1999. The divorce was later finalized in December 2001, with Sandy reportedly receiving $125 million as a settlement, per Hello! Magazine. It became one of the most expensive celebrity divorces in history.

Sandy revealed in the 2019 documentary Garth Brooks: The Road I’m On that Garth’s fame led to their divorce. “People constantly wanting your attention and yanking and pulling on him,” she said. “He’d be gone eight to 10 weeks at a time. He’d come home, and there would be No. 1 parties, or shows, or CMAs, or ACMs, American Music Awards, so it was constantly going. But we both grew apart really, really quickly. I don’t think either of us had stopped to think about how this would change our lives.”

Are Garth Brooks and Sandy Mahl Friends?

Garth and Sandy continued to coparent their daughters after their divorce, and they seemed to maintain a good friendship. In fact, the “Friends in Low Places” singer gushed about Sandy after hearing her comments in his documentary.

“What really surprised me was Sandy, the girls’ mom. She was phenomenal,” he told Us Weekly. “[I was] gone so much on the road [during our marriage], there were things I guess she was [trying to tell] me that I didn’t hear until this biography. It’s rare you get to hear the other side. I just saw her and I think I hugged her harder than I ever have now that I know things that either I didn’t hear or that she didn’t say until now.”