Picks and Pans Review: Talking With...
MIXING BUSINESS WITH PLEASURE
PROJECTING THE IMAGE OF A PRETTY woman who's also smart and strong is important to country's current golden girl, Trisha Yearwood. The daughter of a banker and a schoolteacher, she and her older sister, Beth, grew up in tiny Monticello, Ga. (pop. 2,000), just south of Atlanta. "We were taught that it was okay to be independent and intelligent—that you could be all that and still be feminine," she says. "I think that's one of the reasons women have become such a force in country music over the last few years. More of them are saying it's perfectly all right to be these things—and, like me, they're singing about it."
Yearwood started singing professionally while studying for a business degree at Nashville's Belmont College in 1985 and worked as a demo and background vocalist before releasing her first solo album in 1991. Since then, her whirlwind ride to the top of the country heap has often made her feel, she says, "like my career was a racehorse, and I was just hanging on for dear life.
"Starting a career is a lot like starting a new business," she adds. "You know you're going to lose money, and you know you're always going to be tired. You also know you're going to have to sacrifice a lot of your personal life to get things accomplished." Those sacrifices may have contributed to the breakup of her five-year marriage to musician Christopher Latham in 1991. Today, with her third album on track and plans to wed guitarist Robert Reynolds in the works, Yearwood says, "I'm finally starting to feel like I'm in sync with my career—and my life."