The amazing amount of money Garth Brooks lost in his divorce

There’s one massive mistake country superstar Garth Brooks made during his career that he probably regrets — and it’s not the weird Chris Gaines album nobody was asking about. Brooks is not known for making mistakes; Rather, he’s known as an unstoppable machine capable of delivering catchy hits that have dominated the country music charts. Brooks is so good at his craft that he has managed to eclipse the likes of Elvis Presley, Madonna and Adele and become the best-selling solo artist in US history with 157 million albums sold. To date, he’s the only artist in history to have nine diamond-certified albums, though his confusing rock crossover — Garth Brooks in … The Life of Chris Gaines — didn’t quite make the cut.

Today, Brooks is best known for his high-profile marriage to country singer Trisha Yearwood, and the two are widely regarded as country music’s reigning power couple. Long before he tied the knot with Yearwood, he married songwriter Sandy Mahl. Not only was Mahl by her husband’s side as his record sales filled his bank account, but she walked away with a good chunk of it after their divorce.

Garth Brooks and Sandy Mahl married before he became famous

According to legend, Garth Brooks met Sandy Mahl in the middle of a fight at an Oklahoma bar where he worked. The two lovebirds hit it off and tied the knot in 1986, just three years before the singer’s eponymous debut charted and made him a household name. They stayed together for more than a decade, with Mahl at her husband’s side as his career reached unfathomable heights in the ’90s. The “Friends in Low Places” singer can attribute part of his success to his wife. The single “Unanswered Prayers” from his second album “No Fences” is based at least in part on the true story of Brooks and Mahl. The song – a fan favorite – is credited with keeping the album at the top of the charts for 30 weeks.

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Unfortunately, success was a double-edged sword for Brooks, as his wife blamed him for the breakdown of their marriage. “He was gone for eight to ten weeks at a time. he came home [and] there were number one parties or shows or CMAs or ACMs, American Music Awards, so it just kept going. But we both drifted apart very, very quickly,” she explained during A&E’s “Garth Brooks: The Road I’m On,” per The US Sun.

Garth Brooks and Sandy Mahl’s divorce was incredibly expensive

Garth Brooks and Sandy Mahl announced their split in March 2000, citing irreconcilable differences. Although their breakup was considered amicable, it still became one of the most expensive celebrity divorces of all time. The couple officially ended their marriage on Dec. 17, 2001, and Mahl walked away with a staggering $125 million divorce settlement, according to Country Thang Daily. The “If Tomorrow Never Comes” singer may have lost a fortune during the divorce, but it’s water under the bridges for the king of the country. Brooks shifted his focus after the divorce to raising his daughters, whom he and Mahl shared through joint custody. “If you did the right thing for the kids, you would do the right thing for them. It was easy,” Brooks told Tennessean.

While his $125 million divorce settlement is no slouch, it pales in comparison to the hefty payout Jeff Bezos had to pay. For what it’s worth, the country music singer still tops Yahoo’s list of the 30 richest country music stars, with a net worth of $330 million.

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