Garth Brooks' Mother's Brave Battles Became Unlikely Inspiration For World Tour

Garth Brooks famously retired in 2001, to spend more time at home with his three daughters, and even more famously came out of retirement several years later, first in 2009 to perform a series of weekend shows as part of his residency in Las Vegas, and again in 2014 with the launch of this three-year World Tour, which wrapped up in Nashville last week.

For Brooks, who also released Man Against the Machine in 2014, the decision to once again immerse himself in country music had as much to do with what he didn't want to happen as what he wanted to happen.

“The vision was, what am I going to do when my kids are gone?" Brooks shared with Country Aircheck (quote via CMT). "My mom had a serious problem with empty nest syndrome. Alcohol became her answer and two of the greatest fights I ever saw that woman win were with alcohol and cancer. And it made her a hero to me."

It was Brooks' wife, Trisha Yearwood, who saw the potential for Brooks to head into a downward spiral as his children grew up and moved away, and encouraged him to consider what else he might want to do with his life. But neither Yearwood nor Brooks could have predicted the end result.

“My wife could see it coming at me with the children leaving," Brooks recalls. "And it was her that said, ‘Would you ever think about touring again?’ I said, ‘I would, but would the people?'”

Brooks broke several attendance records, including his own, with his World Tour, which was the highest-grossing country music tour of all time, and one of the most successful tours ever. The 55-year-old has already hinted at an upcoming stadium tour.

Photo Credit: Instagram/GarthBrooks