Garth Brooks is the best-selling artist in the history of recorded music, and he dominated country music in the 1990s in a way that few people have ever dominated any genre, all while maintaining a steadfast public image as one of the nicest, most down-to-earth guys in country music. But in a new interview, the country icon admits that he could've handled his newfound fame better than he did.

"I probably didn't handle it well," Brooks reflects to Gayle King in an interview with CBS This Morning that aired on Friday (June 4). "A nation watches you grow up, right? So you're gonna make decisions that you go, 'Man, I wish I could take that one back.'"

Brooks' marriage to his first wife, Sandy Mahl, ended in divorce in 1999, and he took a 14-year hiatus from his touring career in order to finish raising their daughters in Oklahoma. Brooks married Trisha Yearwood in 2005, and he returned to the road in 2014. He tells King he wouldn't change any of his life's unexpected twists and turns.

"The truth is now, if changing anything then meant any part of now would change? No thank you," he says emphatically.

Brooks spoke to King ahead of the television broadcast of the 2021 Kennedy Center Honors, which are set to air on CBS on Sunday night (June 6). Brooks was one of the artists honored during the ceremony in late May alongside comic actor Dick Van Dyke; dancer, artist and choreographer Debbie Allen; singer-songwriter Joan Baez and violinist Midori.

“The Kennedy Center Honors serves as a moment to celebrate the remarkable artists who have spent their lives elevating the cultural history of our nation and world,” Kennedy Center Chairman David M. Rubenstein said in announcing the new honorees in January, adding that Brooks has "heightened country music’s profile like no other singer before him."

PICS: Garth Brooks Received Kennedy Center Honors

The Kennedy Center Honors recognize those in the performing arts for their lifetime contributions to American culture. In 2020, Garth Brooks was part of an honoree class that also included singer Joan Baez; dancer, choreographer and actor Debbie Allen; violinist Midori and actor Dick Van Dyke, who were celebrated over five days in Washington, DC, in May of 2021, after the annual event was postponed and adjusted due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

How He's Changed! Garth Brooks' Storied Career in Pictures:

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