Country music fans who’ve had the good fortune to see Garth Brooks and Trisha Yearwood share the same stage have also seen how they finish up a duet — with Brooks taking a deep bow toward his wife and, more often than not, Yearwood returning the sweet gesture.
But how did that honor start between them? That’s what one music lover wanted to know when Brooks took questions for the latest episode of his Facebook series “Inside Studio G.”
The fan tweeted a question to the “Friends in Low Places” singer, asking, “I was wondering when, where, & how did the bowing towards each other tradition start. I love it, such respect.”
And the answer from Brooks was a real shocker — initially.
“I don’t know how to say this, but when we first started singing together, she told me I had to (bow),” he said to the camera as he held one hand over his heart. “After every song, I had to bow to her.”
Despite his deadpan delivery, a couple of things indicated that he wasn’t exactly serious. First there was his delayed laughter after saying it, and then there was a voice that cried out in the background.
“I don’t think so!” a woman, who may or may not have been Yearwood, could be heard correcting him from offscreen.
“Oh, yeah, you’re singing with the queen,” he continued with a smile. “Then she probably started feeling guilty I was bowing, so she’d bowed back.”
But the truth behind the tradition, which he started many years ago, was far simpler and sweeter.
“I think it’s just ... respect,” he said with sincerity. “Long before I thought it was even possible to date the woman, much less marry her, I was the biggest fan of Trisha Yearwood’s voice you can imagine. One of the greatest crimes in country music history right now is that Trisha Yearwood is not in the Country Music Hall of Fame yet. That is a crime, because I can’t tell you how many people have moved to this town (Nashville) because of this woman’s voice. This is the greatest singer we have in country music, arguably.”
So, as a “huge, huge fan,” he added that bowing to her is “out of respect for her gift, of her talent and the fact that she’s done it on her own, as a woman in this business. That’s a 1,000 times harder than any guy trying to make it in this business.”
Of course, anyone who’s been a fan of his since his 2005 union with Yearwood would find that to be no surprise at all. Brooks has long spoken out about his love and admiration for the woman he frequently calls “the queen.”
For instance, in February, Yearwood fell ill with COVID-19, and although Brooks didn’t test positive himself, he decided to quarantine by her side.
“Anyone who knows me knows my world begins and ends with Miss Yearwood, so she and I will ride through this together,” he said in a statement at the time. “And anyone who knows her knows she's a fighter and she's been doing everything right, so I know we’ll walk out the other side of this thing together.”