Known as much for his charity work as he is for his award-winning music. Garth Brooks is one of the most beloved and influential country music stars in history. With his eye on changing the world and not just making hits, Brooks continues to do what he loves and make a difference. Even in the early days of his career, there were signs that Garth Brooks would become a country music legend. The moment he signed with the recording label Mercury Records in 1991, Brooks’s star was on the rise. He released his debut album "Garth Brooks" that same year along with its follow-up "No Fences." His third release "In The Life Of..." made him an international star in 1994. That same year he won Album of the Year and New Artist of the Year at the Academy of Country Music Awards. His hit song “Friends In High Places” from that album gave him even more recognition when it became a top 10 hit in both pop and country record charts. In 1996, Brooks signed another recording contract with Capitol Records which led to an even more successful career including eight #1 singles on Billboard Hot Country Songs chart (five from "Double Live" album).
A Legendary Solo Career
After becoming a household name as part of a duo and later trio, Brooks decided to go solo in 2000. His first solo release "Garth Brooks" was such a success that it ended up going 11x Platinum and made the Guinness Book of World Records for the highest one week sales ever. His next solo album " Scarecrow" (2001) was also a smash hit, winning Brooks even more accolades and awards, which included the CMA Album of the Year. With "The Lost Wages" (2003) and "The Ultimate Hits" (2004), Brooks solidified his solo success with another two top-selling albums.
The Creation of The Garth Brooks Band
Brooks decided to mix things up even more in 2005 when he formed The Garth Brooks Band. With an all-new line-up, the band continued to make country music, but with a different vibe. The new band’s self-titled first album featured the hits “We Own the Night” and “The Long Ride Home.” The second album "Garth Brooks and the Magic of the Limited Engagement" came out in 2007, followed by "Blame It All on My Roots" (2008), "The Ultimate Collection" (2009), and "The Garth Brooks Fantasy Trip" (2010).
Return to the Stage with World Tour and New Albums
Brooks started a world tour in 2014. Tickets sold out immediately and kept selling out, so he ended up extending his tour to 2021. To celebrate his successful return to the road, Brooks released the album "Man Against Machine (MAAM)" in 2015. Since then, he’s been touring the world and making headlines with his record-breaking concerts. His second studio release "All Access: Back to the Bars" followed in 2018 and included the hit "People Loving People." In addition to his concert tours, Brooks also devotes his time to charitable causes. In 2014, he created the St. Louis Foundation and has since been raising money to help those affected by the Ferguson unrest. Later that year, he launched his scholarship program and created a fund for the families of fallen police officers. Brooks is also a member of the Grand Ole Opry and has been inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame twice.
More Charity Work With the St. Louis Foundation
In 2018, Brooks donated $500,000 to the St. Louis Foundation to start a new initiative focused on mentoring and development for kids in the area. The foundation's target audience is kids in kindergarten through 12th grade from low-income areas. The program aims to improve attendance, reduce suspensions, and improve communication skills through coaching. The program will also focus on improving self-esteem, communication, and decision-making skills. The program was designed to help students better prepare for high school and beyond.
Record Breaking Concerts
Brooks’s 2015 tour was the highest-grossing of the year and continued to break records in subsequent years with more than 2.6 million fans attending his concerts. The tour grossed more than $87 million in 2016. That same year, Brooks carried the momentum over to the Billboard charts, where he broke another record with the largest number of simultaneous Hot Country Songs entries by a solo artist. He landed 10 songs on the chart, which beat the previous record of nine set by George Strait. The next year, Brooks set another record for the most shows in a single year. In 2017, he played 88 shows and grossed $147 million. That same year, Brooks was the top-grossing touring act in North America, beating out The Rolling Stones. He also set another record in 2017 for the most Hot Country Songs entries by a solo artist, with 11 songs on the chart.
Since releasing his first album in 1990, Brooks has won countless awards, broken records, and become a true country music legend. He’s also continued to make a difference by helping others through his music, his charity work, and his philanthropic efforts. No matter how many records he breaks or how many awards he wins, though, one thing is certain, Garth Brooks will always be a humble and grateful artist.