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Also Known As: Troyal Garth Brooks Died:
Born: February 7, 1962 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: Tulsa, Oklahoma, USA Profession: singer, songwriter, producer, actor, shoe salesman, bouncer

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

A talented and charismatic artist who helped to break barriers between pop and country music, Garth Brooks became one of the biggest recording artists of all time. Brooks made his mark in the music industry with his self-titled debut album (1989) that spawned the hit singles "The Dance" and "If Tomorrow Never Comes." His folk-rock inspired tunes - blending influences from Merle Haggard to James Taylor - and remarkably energetic live performances set Brooks apart from other country artists at the time. His phenomenally successful sophomore release No Fences (1990) included Brooks' trademark anthem "Friends in Low Places," while his third album Ropin' the Wind (1991) put him in the history books as the first country artist to land at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 200 and Country Album charts. Brooks hit a minor creative bump with the critically panned concept album Garth Brooks in the life of Chris Gaines (1999) where the singer took on a rock alter ego. Amidst his meteoric rise to fame, countless awards, and a secret affair (and eventual marriage) with country singer Trisha Yearwood, Brooks proclaimed family as his top priority and announced his retirement at the peak of his career. He made his...

A talented and charismatic artist who helped to break barriers between pop and country music, Garth Brooks became one of the biggest recording artists of all time. Brooks made his mark in the music industry with his self-titled debut album (1989) that spawned the hit singles "The Dance" and "If Tomorrow Never Comes." His folk-rock inspired tunes - blending influences from Merle Haggard to James Taylor - and remarkably energetic live performances set Brooks apart from other country artists at the time. His phenomenally successful sophomore release No Fences (1990) included Brooks' trademark anthem "Friends in Low Places," while his third album Ropin' the Wind (1991) put him in the history books as the first country artist to land at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 200 and Country Album charts. Brooks hit a minor creative bump with the critically panned concept album Garth Brooks in the life of Chris Gaines (1999) where the singer took on a rock alter ego. Amidst his meteoric rise to fame, countless awards, and a secret affair (and eventual marriage) with country singer Trisha Yearwood, Brooks proclaimed family as his top priority and announced his retirement at the peak of his career. He made his triumphant return to music in 2009 with a series of concerts at the Encore resort in Las Vegas, where Brooks performed a cavalcade of hits that confirmed him as a definitive and iconic figure in country music.

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Filmographyclose complete filmography

CAST: (feature film)

1.
2.
 Nashville Beat (1989) Himself
6.
8.
 Intimate Portrait: Elizabeth Dole (2001) Interviewee
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

:
Raised in Yukon, Oklahoma
1985:
Headed to Nashville in pursuit of a country music career; returned to Oklahoma within a week
:
Joined the band Santa Fe
1987:
With Santa Fe and his new bride Sandy, moved to Nashville, writing songs while holding down a job at a boot store
1987:
Signed a songwriter's contract for publishing purposes; hooked up with manager Bob Doyle
1998:
Like his mother before him in the 1950s, signed to Capitol Records
1989:
Released his self-titled debut album, featuring the melancholic hit single "The Dance"; album went on to become a multiplatinum seller, and the most successful country album of the 1980s
1990:
Followed up success with the multiplatinum "No Fences", spawning the hit singles "Friends in Low Places" and "The Thunder Rolls"
1991:
Hit album "Ropin' the Wind" debuted at #1 on both the country and pop charts; the hit-filled album scored numerous Academy of Country Music Awards, <i>Billboand</i> Music Awards, American Music Awards and Country Music Association Awards as well as a Grammy
1991:
Headlined the NBC variety special "This Is Garth Brooks"
1991:
Played himself in an episode of the NBC sitcom "Empty Nest"
1992:
Released "Beyond the Season", a holiday album with proceeds going to Feed the Children
1992:
"The Chase", his fifth album is released, hitting #1 on <i>Billboard</i>'s pop and country album charts; graces the covers of <i>Time, People, Entertainment Weekly, Saturday Evening Post</i> and <i>Forbes</i>
1992:
Named Entertainer of the Year by both the Academy of Country Music and the Country Music Association
1993:
In protest of the marketing of used CDs and its subsequent drain on the purchase of new albums, threatened to pull his releases from any retailers that sold pre-owned recordings
1993:
Released the album "In Pieces", his third (and the third ever) album to debut at #1 on both <i>Billboard</i>'s pop and country charts
1993:
Sold out three shows at Dallas' Texas Stadium in a record-breaking 92 minutes; filmed second special "This Is Garth Brooks Too!" (NBC)
1994:
Released first greatest hits compilation "The Hits", another top ranking release on the pop and country charts
1995:
Seventh studio album "Fresh Horses" released to multiplatinum chart-topping sales
1995:
Starred in third NBC special "The Hits"
1996:
Toured extensively; respectfully turned down the Favorite Artist of the Year Award at the American Music Awards, asserting in a short speech that every artist is equally important
1996:
Featured in the VH-1 special "Garth Brook: Storytellers"
1997:
Released "Sevens", featuring the hit single "To Make You Feel My Love" from the soundtrack of the romance "Hope Floats"
1997:
Headlined HBO special "Garth -- Live From Central Park"
1998:
Was host of and musical guest on "Saturday Night Live" (January)
1998:
Released "Garth Brooks: The Limited Series", a box set of his first 6 CDs and "Double Live", an aptly titled live double album
1999:
Attended spring training exercises with the San Diego Padres, a professional baseball team
1999:
Received Artist of the Decade as well as Artist of the Year honors from the Academy of Country Music
1999:
Premiered his alt-rock alter ego Chris Gaines (his character in the as-yet unproduced feature "The Lamb") with the album "The Life of Chris Gaines"
2000:
Attended spring training excercises with the New York Mets
2000:
Wrote and performed "When You Come Back to Me", the theme from the time travel tearjerker "Frequency"; earned Golden Globe nomination
2000:
Plans for a Graceland-like museum/home in Goodlettsville, Tennessee were shot down by the city council
2000:
In October, two weeks after announcing his impending divorce, announced plans to enter semi-retirement, slated to possibly release two albums in 2001 but choosing not to tour in support of any releases until his children are grown
2001:
Hosted three live variety specials that aired on CBS under the catch-all title "Garth Brooks: Coast to Coast Live"
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Education

Yukon High School: Yukon , Oklahoma - 1980
Oklahoma State University: Stillwater , Oklahoma - 1984

Notes

Garth Brooks on his appeal to a varied and extensive audience: "I am just a mirror of them. Maybe they see themselves in me and say, 'Hey, you don't have to be this ungodly person to make your mark on life. You just got to be yourself.'" --quoted in the Los Angeles Times, June 28, 1992.

Brooks on writing a song ("The Thunder Rolls") about the Los Angeles riots, displaying a more inclusive mindset than one stereotypically attributes to country musicians from middle America: "Tolerance is an important issue to me. Just like we might today ask our grandparents how anyone could have ever judged a man by his skin, our grandkids will say, 'How could anyone ever think someone's sexual preference affected how their mind works?" --to the Los Angeles Times, June 28, 1992.

"I've got a problem with three guys--George Strait, George Jones and [James] Taylor. I was asked to host the Academy of Country Music Awards this year with Strait and Jones, but I had to say no. I can't be around those guys. It kills me. I don't know what it is. I guess I never left the fan thing behind. When I get around those guys, I get sloppy. My eyes water up and I say stupid things. I sure love them, but I just like to watch from a distance." --Brooks on still being a fan although he is a superstar, quoted in the Boston Globe, December 13, 1996.

Brooks on connecting with an audience in his live performances: "When I went to concerts, my whole thing was, for one second, that the artist--that Freddie Mercury of Queen--would look me in the eye. What's cool is when you stand up here now, and you're on this side of it, all you want to do is find one second with each person to tell them what they've done for you." --to the Minnesota Star Tribune, October 6, 1998.

Garth Brooks on the announcement of his retirement: "[M]aking music always does excite me, but I don't know if as a songwriter I have it in me. As an artist, has the [country] format passed me by? Has my age taken me to a place where I can't compete? All these things are questions that I have wrestled with this whole year ... I don't want this to be called my last album or the farewell album--that's not my bag. If we can come up with songs that feel comparable to the other seven studio albums, then we might [put out another album]." --in an October 7, 2000 interview with Billboard Magazine.

Companions close complete companion listing

wife:
Sandy Mahl. Married in 1986; the two met when Brooks, then a bouncer, broke up a fight between Mahl and another woman; reportedly have had a turbulent marriage; separated in March 1999; Brooks filed for divorce in November 2000, citing irreconcilable differences; divorce finalized in December 2001.

Family close complete family listing

father:
Troyal Raymond Brooks. Draughtsman.
mother:
Colleen Carrol Brooks. Former country singer. Retired to raise her children; born on July 10, 1929; died on August 6, 1999 after a long battle with cancer.
half-brother:
Jim Brooks.
half-brother:
Jerry Brooks.
half-brother:
Mike Brooks.
half-sister:
Betsy Brooks. Musician. Former guitarist with Brooks' band Stillwater.
brother:
Kelly Brooks. Manager. Works as Brooks' tour manager.
daughter:
Taylor Mayne Pearl Brooks. Born on July 8, 1992.
daughter:
August Anna Brooks. Born on May 3, 1994.
daughter:
Allie Collen Brooks. Born on July 28, 1996.
VIEW COMPLETE FAMILY LISTING

Bibliography close complete biography

"Garth Brooks; A Biography" Bantam Books
"The Garth Brooks Scrapbook" Citadel Press
"Garth Brooks: Platinum Cowboy" St. Martin's Press
"One of a Kind, Workin' on a Full House"
"Straight From the Heart"
"Garth Brooks: The Road Out of Santa Fe" University of Oklahoma Press
"Garth Brooks: Chart Bustin' Country" Lerner Publications Company
"American Thunder: The Garth Brooks Story" Ballantine
"Garth Brooks: Hitting the High Notes"
VIEW COMPLETE BIBLIOGRAPHY

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