Cliffie Stone Family Photos
Cliffie with Trisha Yearwood at the annual Fan Fare event in Nashville in June 1991. Her MCA self-titled debut album had just been released (which would eventually sell 2 million copies) and her first single, “She’s in Love With the Boy,” would become #1 on the country singles charts in the latter part of 1991. Her debut album would also spawn three other Top 10 singles on the country charts: “Like We Never had a Broken Heart” (co-written by Garth Brooks), “The Woman Before Me,” and “That’s What I like About You.” A brief background: Trisha was born in Georgia and after high school she attended the University of Georgia for awhile. She later transferred to Belmont University in Nashville. While attending Belmont, she worked as an intern for MTM Records as a receptionist; and she was hired full time after she graduated from Belmont in 1987 (with a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration). She started singing on demos as well as backup vocals for up-and-coming artists; one of these artists was Garth Brooks and she sang backup vocals on his second album, ‘No Fences’ in 1990. Garth and Trisha became friends during these record sessions and he was so impressed with her voice that he tried to help her career get started in every way that he could. He introduced her to his producer, Allen Reynolds. Allen, in turn, introduced her to producer, Garth Fundis, who worked with her on songs and he produced a demo tape with her, which would ultimately (along with Trisha’s performance at various label showcases) help to secure a record deal for her with MCA Records. As previously stated, her 1991 MCA debut album was self-titled and her first hit was “She’s In Love with the Boy.” Also during this time frame, Trisha gained invaluable artist exposure and concert experience when she was hired to be Garth’s opening act on his 1991 nationwide tour. In the ensuing years, her other albums included ‘Hearts in Armor,’ ‘Thinkin’ About You,’ ‘Inside Out,’ ‘Jasper County,’ ‘Heaven, Heartache & the Power of Love’ – all of which spawned hit singles. Her “Songbook: A Collection of Hits” was released in 1997, which eventually sold 4 million copies; it also included three new singles: A duet with Garth Brooks - “In Another’s Eyes” which peaked at #2 on the country charts; “Perfect Love,” which became #1 on the country charts, and ‘How Do I Live,’ which was on the soundtrack of the motion picture, ‘Con Air.’ (This song received an Academy Awards’ nomination for ‘Best Song’). When Cliffie passed away in 1998, I could identify with Trisha’s emotional version of ‘How Do I Live.’ In 2011, when the Academy of Country Music announced that Garth Brooks (who married Trisha in 2005) was one of the recipients of the ‘Cliffie Stone Pioneer Award,’ I contacted Garth’s manager and, long story short, in mid-September, I was invited to see Garth’s one-man show at the Wynn Encore Theatre in Las Vegas as well as go backstage afterwards to take photos for Cliffie’s website.  Beforehand, I was told by his road manager that often times Trisha would fly to Las Vegas with Garth and they’d sing duets together. So I was hoping to meet Trisha because of my affinity with ‘How Do I Live,’ but it was not to be. (And I knew why when it was announced several weeks later that her brave and beloved mother, Gwen, lost her battle with cancer on October 1, 2011.) Trisha’s prestigious awards include: Academy of Country Music’s “Top New Female Vocalist” in 1991; Country Music Association’s 1994 “Album of the Year” (‘Common Thread: The Songs of the Eagles” (duets with various artists); CMA’s 1997 “Top Female Vocalist.” Trisha’s Grammy awards include: a 1994 Grammy for “Vocal Collaboration” (“I Fall to Pieces”) with R&B singer, Aaron Neville; in 1997, she received a Grammy for “Best Female Country Vocal Performance” (“How Do I Live”);  she also received a Grammy in 1997 for “Best Country Vocal Collaboration” with Garth Brooks (“In Another’s Eyes”). She became a member of the Grand Ole Opry in March 1999. In the 1994 time frame, this versatile and talented personality also flirted with an acting career, which included seven episodes on CBS-TV’s ‘Jag’ series as Lt. Commander, Teresa Coulter. Trisha’s greatest virtue of all is the time that she freely gives as a Philanthropist. She’s been involved with the ‘Make A Wish Foundation;’ in 2006, she and her kind-hearted, generous husband, Garth Brooks, were both deeply involved in the ‘Hurricane Katrina’s Disaster Relief’ which focused on the building of flood walls in New Orleans as well as protective structures in Mississippi. She has also been an active member of the home building charity group – ‘Habitat for Humanity.’ Trisha released her first cookbook with a catchy title, “Georgia Cooking in an Oklahoma Kitchen” which she collaborated on with her mother, Gwen Yearwood, and her sister, Beth Yearwood-Bernard. She now has her own TV cooking show. For details of her multi-faceted life and career, visit:

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