Country Music Star – Garth Brooks

Garth Brooks has become one of the highest-selling artists in music history. His albums sold more than 68.5 million copies in the U.S. by 2010, becoming one of the best-selling album artists ever in SoundScan era. Furthermore, Brooks holds the record for live concert ticket sales at more than 6.3 million sold tickets and was honored with two Grammy Awards and 16 Country Music Association (CMA) Entertainer of the Year awards.

Brooks was born Troyal Garth Brooks in Tulsa, Oklahoma to parents Colleen (Ozark Jubilee) and Betsy (Banjo). Betsy later taught herself the banjo before playing it professionally alongside Betsy as part of the Ozark Jubilee in the 1950s; their sister Betsy became an accomplished banjo player herself. Brooks began learning guitar as early as junior high school while listening to Hank Williams, Johnny Cash, Merle Haggard, etc on radio. In 1987 he moved to Nashville to pursue his musical ambitions; working at cow boot stores while making money singing demo tapes for other songwriters before an executive who had rejected him before discovered him singing demo tapes for other songwriters at Bluebird Cafe gave him recording contract terms he had initially rejected earlier on his demo tapes.

Garth Brooks quietly released his self-titled debut album with only 20,000 units initially, but an aggressive promotional push propelled its sales upward. Critics responded enthusiastically to single “Much Too Young (To Feel This Damn Old), along with its bold sound; both CMA and ACM awarded him with Entertainer of the Year awards.

After his success with The Black Crowes’ album NO FENCES, which broke records with sales over 10 million units worldwide and was certified diamond by RIAA, NO FENCES earned both Record and Album of the Year awards from CMA and ACM respectively. Its title track became a #1 hit single.

As he was working on his third album, he met fellow country star Trisha Yearwood during a studio session. She promised him she would open his shows, which she did throughout the 1990s. They married in December 2005 and share three daughters: Taylor Mayne, August Anna, and Allie Colleen.

In 1999, Brooks initiated a multimedia project featuring his alter ego Chris Gaines that culminated with three box sets featuring country, pop and rock music genres. By 2001 – over 10 years after releasing Scarecrow as his last studio album release – Scarecrow had received critical acclaim and become his last major release since. This album and its music videos were widely criticized for depicting domestic violence; nonetheless, the album proved an enormous success. It marked his first work with an integrated narrator; additionally, it established him as an articulate advocate for addressing social issues through his songs. Since his return, he has become an outspoken supporter of traditionalists in Nashville’s music community. Additionally, he is active on environmental and political issues. In 2013, he received the Presidential Medal of Freedom – one of America’s highest civilian awards.