Garth Brooks won’t shave his beard until he's told to. The superstar has noticeably been sporting some salt and pepper scruff as of late, so backstage at SXSW 2017, we asked about it. As it turns out, the beard was somewhat of an anniversary gift for his wife, Trisha Yearwood, and it'll be sticking around for awhile.

"My wife likes it, so it stays," he tells Taste of Country. "I can’t believe it — I was going to shave it off!"

Brooks and Yearwood's eleventh anniversary fell while Brooks was scheduled to play a remembrance concert for Pearl Harbor's 75th anniversary in December, which meant a getaway vacation to Hawaii for the couple. Thankfully, Miss Yearwood didn't mind.

"I said, ‘Honey, I booked a gig on our anniversary," Brooks recalls, "And she knew me well enough to not hit me first and go, ‘Where is it?’ And I said, ‘It’s in Hawaii.’ And she goes, ‘You’re forgiven.’”

The couple stayed for a week to celebrate their vows, and while they were there, Brooks let his facial hair go wild. He was prepared to clean up when they got home, but Yearwood stopped him from shaving before the couple's next show in Cincinnati.

"I said, ‘Well, it’s time,’" Brooks says, "And she goes, ‘You know what? Don’t shave that thing. Let’s see what happens.'"

"She used the 'S' word," adds the singer with a big grin, playfully dancing around the word 'sexy.' "And I go, ‘Oh my gosh.’ My wife just melts me — she just has that power. She always has. So, she likes it. As long as she likes it, it stays. The second she goes, ‘It’s gone,’ it’s gone.”

The last time he sported a beard, Brooks notes, was when he played "a bad guy in a beard" in "The Thunder Rolls" video. That was in 1991.

Brooks was in Austin, Texas in mid-March for SXSW, where he gave a press conference to announce a popup free show at the city’s Auditorium Shores outdoor venue. He also sat down for a keynote chat with Amazon’s Steve Boom and showed up unannounced at a hole-in-the-wall to play his hits and a number of covers for unsuspecting patrons.

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