Trisha Yearwood was born in Monticello, Georgia, the daughter of Jack Howard Yearwood, a local banker and Gwendolyn (née Paulk), a schoolteacher.
Yearwood took a strong interest in becoming an accountant and her degree from Belmont University was in Business Administration.
While in school at Belmont, Yearwood gained an internship with Mary Tyler Moore's record company, MTM Records. She was eventually hired as a full-time employee following her graduation. "I got a real job, as a receptionist at a record label, and I started figuring out that if I didn't get aggressive about it, I'd get to be the receptionist forever," Yearwood recalled during a Q&A at the Country Music Hall of Fame. "So I started to network a bit, called some writers that I knew."
Yearwood singing career started with her singing background vocals for new MTM artists, including her friend Garth Brooks' eponymous 1989 debut album. "I got work based on the fact that I showed up on time, I worked cheap," Yearwood said, "I knew the songs when I got there, and I sounded good, and I did my own harmonies for free. So I was pretty good, cheap labor, and reliable. People would hire you because of those things."
She released her self-titled debut album in 1991. When "She's In Love With the Boy
" topped the country chart, Yearwood became the first female singer to reach #1 with her debut single.
Yearwood helped start Matthew McConaughey's career when the actor played the lead role in the singer's 1992 video for "Walkaway Joe." McConaughey played the boy the main character's daughter runs off with.
Yearwood married her first husband, musician Chris Latham, in 1987; they divorced in 1991. Three years later she married Robert "Bobby" Reynolds, a bass player for the country music group The Mavericks; they divorced in 1999.
She tied the knot for the third time when Yearwood married her longtime friend and collaborator Garth Brooks on December 10, 2005 in a private ceremony at the couple's home in Owasso, Oklahoma. Brooks, who also had been married before, admitted on Ellen that he knew from the moment he met Yearwood that there was an undeniable chemistry between the pair. "[Songwriter] Kent Blazy introduced me to Ms. Yearwood, and he goes, 'I knew you were going to like her,'" he recalled. "When she left, he goes, 'What did you think?' I said, 'Well, it's strange, because I felt that feeling like when you just meet your wife, but I've been married for 13 months.'"
Yearwood had a recurring role on the CBS military drama, JAG between 1997 and 2002, playing Lieutenant Commander Teresa Coulter, a Navy coroner and forensic specialist, who develops feelings for one of the main characters.
Her Food Network cooking show Trisha's Southern Kitchen, won a 2013 Daytime Emmy for Outstanding Culinary Program.