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Garth Brooks was born in Tulsa, Oklahoma, on February 7, 1962. He signed with Capitol Records and released his self-titled first album in 1989, which had mild success. His third album, Ropin’ the Wind, was the first country album to debut at No. 1 on the pop charts. Brooks has made a number of albums since, selling more than 100 million in all. He retired in 2000, but began performing again in 2009.
I think my gift truly is I'm an average guy. What I like, an average guy likes. It's that simple. The music that I love, I find that most guys around me love, too.
Country singer Garth Brooks was born Troyal Garth Brooks on February 7, 1962, in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Brooks got his start in music singing in bars and clubs while attending Oklahoma State University. In 1987, he moved to Nashville for the second time—his first attempt was unsuccessful—with his wife, Sandy, to try to make it in country music. With help from music manager Bob Doyle, Brooks eventually signed to Capitol Records. His early hits include "If Tomorrow Never Comes" and "The Dance."
Although sales for Brooks's first album, Garth Brooks, were strong, it would have been hard to predict the amazing success Brooks's releases would later achieve. His second effort, No Fences, sold more than 700,000 copies in its first 10 days on the market. His third, Ropin' the Wind, racked in a record-breaking 4 million orders before its release, and became the first album by a country singer to debut at No. 1 on the Billboard pop charts. His 1998 release, Garth Brooks Double Live, sold over one million copies in its first week of sales, breaking the previous record. To date, Brooks has sold more than 100 million albums in his career.
Brooks's live concerts have also been extremely successful. An August 7, 1997, concert in New York City's Central Park drew an estimated 250,000 to 1 million people.
Brooks startled many in 1999 by releasing In the Life of Chris Gaines, an album featuring Brooks as a fictional Australian grunge rocker. Panned by critics, the album had mediocre sales (by Brooks's previous standards) and was purportedly the soundtrack to an upcoming film about Gaines titled The Lamb. He rebounded from the setback by winning three American Music Awards in January 2000, including for artist of the decade, favorite male country artist and favorite country album (for 1999's Double Live release).
Brooks announced at the end of 2000 that he wanted to spend more time with his wife, Sandy, and three daughters, Taylor Mayne Pearl (born 1992), August Anna (1994), and Allie Colleen (1996). Struggling to balance his work and family life, Brooks divorced his wife in October 2000 and officially retired from recording and performing. He made a partial comeback in 2005—that same year, he married fellow country singer Trisha Yearwood.
In 2009, Brooks returned to music scene and began performing regularly on the Las Vegas Strip. In October 2010, he announced his first large-scale arena concert in Nashville since 1998. All proceeds benefited Tennessee residents affected by the May 2010 flooding.
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