American country singer, b. 1962
Troyal Garth Brooks was born in Tulsa, Oklahoma on February 7, 1962. His father, Ray, worked for an oil company, and his mother, Colleen Carroll, was a country singer in the 1950's. Brooks earned a track scholarship to Oklahoma State University, and graduated in 1984. He married Sandy Mahl in 1986, and they moved to Nashville in 1987.
About two years later, he earned a deal with Capitol Records, and his self-titled debut album was released in April of 1989. His first single, "Much Too Young (To Feel This Damn Old)" became a top 10 country hit. The album eventually yielded two country chart toppers, "If Tomorrow Never Comes" and "The Dance".
His next album was 1990's hugely successful No Fences. The album became the biggest-selling country album ever in the U.S., selling 16 million copies. Not only did the album top the Billboard country album chart for weeks, it also peaked at #3 on the pop album chart. No Fences contained the hits "Friends In Low Places" (which topped the country chart for four weeks), "The Thunder Rolls" (which had a controversial video that was banned from some television stations), "Unanswered Prayers", and "Two Of A Kind (Workin' On A Full House)".
His third album, 1991's Ropin' The Wind, debuted at #1 on both the country album chart and the pop album chart. The album included the #1 country hits "What She's Doing Now" and "The River". During this period, the popularity of his live performances also skyrocketed, and in 1991 and 1992 he outsold every pop and rock acts at the major American stadiums.
In 1992, his fourth album, The Chase, was released. Like its predecessor, it debuted at #1 on both the country album chart and the pop album chart. The first single, "We Shall Be Free" was written during the 1992 L.A. riots and was inspired by the riots, along with Brooks' sister's revelation of her lesbianism. Though the gay rights stand was controversial, the song still topped the country charts. Other country chart toppers followed; "Somewhere Other Than The Night", "Learning To Live Again", and "That Summer" all reached #1.
In 1993, In Pieces, was released. It also debuted at #1 on both the country album chart and the pop album chart, and spawned the #1 hit "Ain't Goin' Down (Till The Sun Comes Up)". His greatest hits collection, "The Hits" was released in 1994, and sold over ten million copies.
Though 1995's Fresh Horses was not as successful as his previous releases (it sold only six million copies), it spawned the hits "Every Woman", "The Fever" (a cover of an Aerosmith song), and "The Change".
In 1997, his albums (with the exception of "The Hits" and the 1992 Christmas album Beyond The Season) were repackaged in a limited-edition box set. This box set included five new recordings, including the Bob Dylan-penned "To Make You Feel My Love", which reached #1 on the country charts and was included on the Hope Floats soundtrack. Sevens was also released that year and included the hits "Long Neck Bottle" and "In Another's Eyes" (a duet with long-time pal Trisha Yearwood). A 2-CD live compilation "Double Live" was released in 1998.
Garth Brooks tried a change of pace in 1999, releasing In The Life Of Chris Gaines, where he took on the persona of a fictional pop/rock artist. Though the CD bombed both with critics and with fans, it spawned Brooks' sole top 10 pop single, "Lost In You". Some believe that the single's B-side, country hit "It Don't Matter To The Sun", was responsible for the single's brisk sales.
In October of 2000, Brooks announced that he would retire from music and focus instead on his marriage and his family. His final album, Scarecrow, is scheduled to be released in the fall of 2001.
- Garth Brooks, 1989
- No Fences, 1990
- Ropin' The Wind, 1991
- The Chase.1992
- Beyond The Season, 1992
- In Pieces, 1993
- The Hits (limited edition), 1994
- Fresh Horses, 1995
- The Limited Series, (limited edition box set), 1997
- Sevens, 1997
- Double Live, 1998
- In The Life Of Chris Gaines, 1999
- Magic Of Christmas, 1999
- Scarecrow, 2001