Celebrity? Who needs another night of lovelorn, beered-up good ol’ boys bull-rushing the stage? Who needs a shotgun-waving fan chasing the tour bus outside Atlanta because he was refused a backstage pass? By the mid-’80s, the sultry-voiced singer began to tire of the limelight. She’d churned out a string of country-rock hits such as chart-notchers “Queen of Hearts,” “Angel of the Morning” and “Break It to Me Gently.” She’d picked up a Grammy and even had her own billboard on Sunset Boulevard (for her platinum album Juice). “I was already satisfied,” says Juice Newton, 47. “My goal was to make records, not be a household name.”
So with the same intensity that the Virginia-raised daughter of a Navy officer had focused on music since graduating from Virginia Beach’s First Colonial High School, she went after a domestic dream: A horse, a home and a husband. She bought Puppy, a Thoroughbred gelding, in 1983 and stabled him at the Los Angeles Equestrian Center, near her suburban house. There, she met the center’s manager, renowned polo player Tom Good-speed, who asked her on a date to Disneyland. They didn’t go. “Being a little naive,” says Goodspeed, 46, “I didn’t realize high-profile celebrities avoided big places like that. But then she invited me to a party.” The couple married in 1985 and eventually moved to a Mediterranean-style place near San Diego, which they share with daughter Jessica, 9, and son Tyler, 6. Newton has recorded Platinum & Gold, a double CD of duets with Willie Nelson, Melissa Manchester, the Pointer Sisters and other artists, scheduled for a summer release. She also performs occasionally in venues like Las Vegas. Juice (a family nickname for her given name, Judy) also carpools the kids, plays polo and is writing a children’s book with Jessica called Where Does the Sun Go at Night? Jessica’s answer: Missouri.