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Garth Brooks
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He’s celebrating a birthday today.  He’s not getting older, he’s getting better.  Today we shine the spotlight on Garth Brooks.  He was born Troyal Garth Brooks on February 7,1962 in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Although he sang in some family settings during childhood, his primary focus was athletics.  He competed in football, baseball and track.  He recieved a scholarship from Oklahoma State and threw the javelin for the Cowboys.  He graduated in 1984 with a degree in advertising.  His college roommate, Ty England played guitar in his road band until he launced a solo career in 1995.

Garth’s first album Garth Brooks was an unqualified success.  His first single, Much Too Young (To Feel This Damn Old) was a top 10 success.  It was followed by his first number one If Tomorrow Never Comes. Not Counting You was a number two, followed by The Dance, his next number one, which he described as his career song.

His follow-up album No Fences was released in 1990 and spent 23 weeks on the Billboard Country Albums chart.  It was his highest selling album.  The album contained Friends In Low Places, The Thunder Rolls, Unanswered Prayers.  Each of these songs including Two Of A Kind, Workin’ On A Full House reached number one.

As his career reached dizzying heights, Garth seemed frustrated by the conflicting demands of his career and family.  He talked of retiring in 1992 and 1995, but each time returned to touring.  He mentioned in a 1999 appearance on the Crook & Chase Show that he would retire.

October 6, 2000 he officially announced his retirement.   His final album Scarecrow was released in 2001.

In 2005, he insisted he wasn’t touring and was not going to record any new material until 2015. However, he released a box set exclusively through Walmart.  By December 1st, it had sold over one million copies, proving that he still resonated with his fan base.

On August 18, 2007, Brooks announced plans for a new boxed set called The Ultimate Hits. The new set featured two discs containing 30 hits, three new songs, and a DVD featuring music videos for each of these songs. The album’s first single, More Than A Memory, was released to radio on August 27, 2007 It debuted at number one on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart, becoming the highest-debuting single in the chart’s history. The previous record had been set only one week earlier, when Kenny Chesney’s Don’t Blink debuted at number 16.

In November 2007, Brooks performed nine sold-out shows in Kansas City at the Sprint Center, which had opened a month prior. Originally scheduled to be only one show, the performance expanded to nine due to incredibly high demand, with all nine shows (equaling about 140,000 tickets) selling out in under two hours.  The shows took place from November 5 to the 12th, with the final show on November 14 – the final show was simulcast to more than 300 movie theaters across the U.S.

On October 15, 2009, Brooks announced that he was coming out of retirement, to do weekend performances at Encore Las Vegas on the Las Vegas Strip. This arrangement  continued into the fall of 2011. This schedule allowed Brooks to continue during the week to have the family life for which he had retired, and to continue to perform on the weekend. On October 28, 2010, Garth announced he would do his first “arena” concert in Nashville since 1998.

During a performance on August 19, 2011, Brooks told his audience that once his youngest daughter is in college he will be “firing the tour back up.”

On July 12, 2012, for one night only, Brooks performed in front of a sold out audience at Scotiabank Saddledome to help the Calgary Stampede celebrate its centennial anniversary.

In October 2012, it was noted that Brooks was nearing the end of his residency at the Wynn in Las Vegas. During an interview, he mentioned that he would still do ‘one-offs’ and would like to record the show for possible DVD release. When asked about a comeback in 2014, he said, “We’ll see..you know what’s in my heart and what I wanna do, but we just can’t say anything.”

Las Vegas hotel developer Steve Wynn let it slip in an interview recently that Brooks has some big plans for 2014. According to the Las Vegas Review Journal, Brooks will perform his first world tour in 16 years that year. News of the upcoming gig came out when Wynn mentioned publicly that Brooks is “itching to get started on a world tour.”

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