Talent, dreams and determination are an intoxicating little cocktail. It's a recipe that has served to propel a lithesome Georgia blonde from local honky tonks to the world's most prestigious stages. For Trisha Yearwood, there was never any other path but music. Like most hopeful young artists, Yearwood began singing around her hometown, and though she became a big fish in that small pond, deep inside she wondered if she really had the goods to succeed.
She started singing demos, and earned a reputation for her solid work ethic, engaging personality and phenomenal voice. Songwriter Kent Blazy frequently used Yearwood on his demos and it was in his attic studio that she first met Garth Brooks. Brooks introduced her to his producer, Allen Reynolds, who introduced her to producer Garth Fundis. Soon after, Yearwood did a showcase and landed a deal with MCA Records.
Such gems have always bee a staple of Yearwood's artistry. "I always thought my biggest hits have been happy accidents. I didn't know 'She's In Love With The Girl' was going to be that big. I didn't know 'How Do I Live' was going to be that big and those allow me to do some of the other songs that are maybe a little more left-of-center," she says. "I always called it the Emmylou factor. I was always checking my integrity level and saying, 'Okay would Emmy sing this? Could I pass her on the street if I sang this song?'
"I think I was actually a lot more serious in the beginning and finally Garth Fundis said, 'You have to lighten up a little bit. Everything doesn't have to be so deep. You can have some fun and nobody's going to think you've lost your artistic integrity.' I think we've had more fun on the later albums because I have lightened up a little bit. I can sing the gut-wrenching stuff, but I can have fun too. I think I'm able to sing some happier songs with sincerity in a way that I never did, not that I wasn't happy before, just not this level of happy. I can actually put a little more into those kind of songs."
Yes, Trisha Yearwood is happy these days. There's a light in her smile and buoyancy in her tone that's undeniable and absolutely infectious. "It still amazes me that I make a living doing what I love to do," she says. "I don't ever feel like it is work. I feel really grateful and blessed to get to do what I love. I love, love, love to sing."