Member Since 1990
Although Garth Brooks has given up a phenomenally successful recording and performing career to raise his three daughters at home in Oklahoma, he’s certainly left an indelible mark on music—and popular culture—worldwide. Yet for the staggering list of accomplishments he’s amassed, Garth considers his Opry membership the pinnacle of his entertainment career.
“To be recognized as a member of the Opry,” he says, “is among the class of honors that will never be topped, no matter how long or how far my career goes.”
The youngest of six children, Garth grew up in Yukon, Oklahoma, an oil town near Oklahoma City. He first moved to Nashville in 1985, only to return home 23 hours later. After completing a degree in advertising at Oklahoma State University, he ventured back to Music City in 1987, and within six months signed a recording contract with Capitol Records.
Garth’s first single, “Much Too Young (To Feel This Damn Old),” from his self-titled debut album, hit No. 8 on the charts. Three No. 1 hits followed: “Not Counting You,” “The Dance” and “If Tomorrow Never Comes.”
The only male artist to have four albums—No Fences, Ropin’ the Wind, The Hits, and Double Live—each exceed sales of 10 million, Garth has sold more than 100 million records. That total places Garth second only to Elvis Presley as the best-selling solo artist of all time, according to the Recording Industry Association of America.
Garth has received nearly every accolade the recording industry can bestow upon an artist, including two Grammys, 11 Country Music Association Awards and 24 Billboard Music Awards. His TV credits include eight NBC specials, hosting Saturday Night Live twice, and executive producing the made-for-TV movie, Call Me Claus. He’s also earned a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
In 1997, Garth’s Central Park concert in New York drew the largest crowd the park had ever seen. The HBO special Garth Live from Central Park was that year’s most-watched cable television special.
In October 2000, Garth announced his retirement from touring and recording. The following year his album Scarecrow was released. Although he has occasionally obliged when asked to appear at various benefit concerts and events, Garth insists he plans to stay out of the spotlight until his youngest daughter, Allie, turns 18—in 2014.
Fortunately for fans, he will not be gone quite that long. On October 15, 2009 Garth announced that he would be coming out of retirement for a 5 year concert deal in Las Vegas starting in December. He currently has no plans to tour or record during that time.
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