When Garth Brooks announced his comeback tour with Trisha Yearwood last year, it garnered so much buzz that a third date was added to the South Florida stop at BB&T Center in Sunrise this week — and rightfully so. Brooks has earned his spot at the top in a way very few country singers have managed.
It all began in Brooks' native Oklahoma. Like many singers' origins, his were less than glamorous: He sang in bars and clubs while attending Oklahoma State University. After moving to Nashville in 1987 for a second time after an unsuccessful first attempt, Brooks signed to Capitol Records. Two years later, the singer released his debut, self-titled album. It featured what would become his first two number one singles: "The Dance" and "If Tomorrow Never Comes."
The album unobtrusively shipped fewer than 20,000 records at its release and began to gain traction only after a whopping 65 weeks, when it reached number two on the Billboard Country Albums chart. Its delayed rise to the top resulted in Brooks' second album, No Fences, charting simultaneously. Few artists can say they beat and lost to themselves in the charts.
Brooks only continued to challenge and exceed himself with his subsequent releases. His third album, 1991's Ropin' the Wind, made history as the first album to debut at number one on both the Billboard Country Albums chart and the Billboard 200 Top Albums chart. Concurrently, the number two album was No Fences (at 52 weeks), and number three was Garth Brooks (at 123 weeks) on the Country Albums chart, while Ropin' the Wind held down the number one spot.
Brooks has showed no signs of slowing and has since released five additional albums, garnering countless awards and certifications, including the Double-Diamond Award for 1998's Double Live. It certified more than 23 million and is even said to be the greatest-selling live record in musical history.
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Unlike celebrities who go bankrupt with their success or spiral in a mess of sex, drugs, and too much glitter, Brooks simply retired — but not indefinitely. The singer came back in 2014 with Man Against Machine. Flash-forward to the present and he's now fully out of retirement, touring with his wife of ten years and fellow country singer, Trisha Yearwood.
As for his retiring again, we won't have to worry. "I want to do this until the day I die," he said at a news conference this past September. "I'm done with retiring. I spent 15 years retiring. And I never want to hear that word again come out of my mouth."
With Trisha Yearwood. Thursday, January 14, through Saturday, January 16, at BB&T Center, 1 Panther Parkway, Sunrise . Tickets cost $64.48 plus fees. Visit ticketmaster.com.
Natalya Jones is a food and music writer covering Broward and Palm Beach counties. To get the latest in entertainment and fun things to do in South Florida, follow her on Twitter.