One of the most popular female country singers of the '90s, Trisha Yearwood initially rose to fame as a protégée of Garth Brooks but quickly staked out her own identity as an assertive yet vulnerable modern woman. Yearwood was born in the small town of Monticello, GA, in 1964 and grew up on a farm owned by her father, who also worked as a prominent local banker. She loved Elvis Presley as a child and sang in musicals, choral groups, and talent shows while in school. She enrolled at the University of Georgia, but in 1985 she transferred to the music business program at Belmont College in Nashville. Yearwood served an internship with MTM Records and soon moved on to become an in-demand demo singer, which resulted in an up-and-coming Brooks hiring her as a backup vocalist. Yearwood appeared on Brooks' 1989 debut and its blockbuster follow-up, No Fences, and with the help of producer Garth Fundis, she staged a showcase performance in 1990 that landed her a record deal with MCA.