Garth Brooks and Wife to Divorce

Country music superstar Garth Brooks and his wife are calling it quits after 14 years of marriage.

In an interview to be published this week in Billboard magazine, Brooks said he regrets his marriage ended but believes he is closer than ever to his three daughters, aged 8, 6 and 4.

Spokeswoman Karen Byrd of Capitol Records declined to comment further.

“Sandy and I both agree that we need to get divorced,” said Brooks. “Right now, we’re focused 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.”

He said recent difficulties, including his mother’s death and his first break from touring in 11 years, have taken a toll.

“But the trade that I made [is that] I am an infinite number of times closer to my children than I’ve been the entire seven years of their lives before [this year off]. And I can’t help but think when I lie down at night and say my prayers that that in itself to me is worth the trade I’ve made to get here.”

Brooks has sold 97 million albums in his 10-year career, making him the best-selling artist in country music history. He announced in December 1999 that he may retire because he wants to spend more time with his family.