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Garth Brooks

Real name: Troyal Garth Brooks
Birthdate: N/A
Status: Single

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Troyal Garth Brooks (born February 7, 1962 in Tulsa, Oklahoma) is an American country music singer-songwriter. Successfully integrating pop and rock elements into his recordings and live performances, Brooks soon began to dominate the country singles and country album charts and quickly crossed over into the mainstream pop arena, exposing country music to a larger audience than previously thought possible.

While struggling to be noticed by industry executives, Brooks frequently recorded demo records for songwriter Kent Blazy. Blazy introduced Brooks to Trisha Yearwood, another aspiring country singer, in October 1987. The pair became friends and pledged to help each other in their careers. Brooks achieved success first, signing a recording contract with Capitol Records in 1988. Keeping his promise, in 1991, he invited Yearwood to be the opening act on his tour.

Brooks' third album, Ropin' the Wind, released in September 1991, had advance orders of 4 million copies and entered the pop album charts at #1, a first for a country act. Ropin' the Wind's music was a melange of pop country and honky-tonk; hits included Billy Joel's "Shameless", "What She's Doing Now", and "The River". All told, it became his second-best selling album after No Fences. The success of this album further propelled the sales of his first two albums, enabling Brooks to become the first country artist with three albums listed in the pop top 20 in one week.

Elsewhere in the world Brooks was also considered a star, and he enjoyed hit records and sell-out tours in countries including Ireland, Spain, throughout Europe, Brazil, the Far East, New Zealand, and Australia.

In 1999 Brooks and his production company Red Strokes Entertainment, with Paramount Pictures, began to develop a movie in which Brooks would star. The Lamb was to have revolved around Chris Gaines, a fictional rock singer and his emotionally conflicted life as a musician in the public eye. To create buzz for the project, Brooks took on the identity of Gaines in the October 1999 album Garth Brooks in ... The Life of Chris Gaines, which was intended as a 'pre-soundtrack' to the film. Brooks also subsequently appeared as Gaines in a television mockumentary for the VH1 series Behind The Music and as the musical guest on an episode of Saturday Night Live which he hosted as himself.

Despite the failure of the Chris Gaines project, Brooks gained his first - and only - US Top 40 pop single in "Lost in You", the first single from the album.

As his career flourished, Brooks seemed frustrated by the conflicts between career and family. He talked of retiring from performing in 1992 and 1995, but each time returned to touring. In 1999, possibly also spurred by falling record sales, Brooks appeared on The Nashville Network's Crook & Chase program and again mentioned retirement.

Later in the month Brooks performed at the Grand Ole Opry's 80th birthday celebration. Selections included a duet with Steve Wariner on "Long Neck Bottle", another joint effort with country legends Bill Anderson, Porter Wagoner, and Little Jimmy Dickens, and a solo guitar version of "The Dance". On November 15, 2005, he also performed "Good Ride Cowboy" in front of a live audience in Times Square in New York City, as part of the 2005 Country Music Association Awards show. In December, the single reached #1. Brooks and Yearwood also appeared on the Oprah Winfrey show in 2007.


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