Garth Brooks to Divorce

A representative for Garth Brooks confirmed Saturday that the country superstar and his wife have decided to divorce, The Associated Press reports.

Brooks and his wife, Sandy, were married in 1986. The couple has three children, ages 8, 6, and 4.

In a recent interview with Billboard magazine, Brooks admitted that both parties felt the time had come to separate and that their primary concern was the welfare of their offspring: "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."

Brooks noted that the death of his mother, as well as taking only one break from touring in more than a decade, has compounded stress on the family. But he added that he felt his relationship with his children has grown stronger as a consequence.

As for future plans, he stressed that touring is no longer in his plans — the earliest Brooks said he would consider hitting the road again would be in 14 years, after his youngster daughter, Allie, turns 18. Late in 1999, he announced that he was taking a break from the music business and considering retirement altogether.

Brooks, whose worldwide album sales recently passed the 100 million sales mark, according to the Recording Industry Association of America, is still undecided as to when — and even if — he'll drop his next studio album. However, he told Billboard that he would have no regrets if his ambitious but poorly received concept album Garth Brooks In … The Life of Chris Gaines turned out to be his swan song.

"If the last record I ever made was the Chris Gaines project, my head would be held so high — I'd be fine with it."

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