Garth Brooks celebrates music milestone with free concert

Garth Brooks will play a free concert in Nashville this month, as the country music veteran celebrates a historic career resurgence following 15 years in retirement.

Brooks announced the Oct. 24 performance Monday at Tennessee's State Capitol Building in Nashville, alongside Governor Bill Haslam.

The performance at Ascend Ampitheater, which will be significantly scaled down from his tour show, is part of a state-sponsored celebration to recognize Brooks’ recent accomplishment of becoming the first artist to see seven of his albums sell more than 10 million albums. Brooks has sold 138 million albums in his career.

The show is in conjunction with Tennessee Tourism’s “The Soundtrack of America," and fans must follow "Tennessee" on Snapchat to find out how to get tickets.

"It's a pretty big deal when one of our own achieves this record milestone," said Haslam, noting that all seven of Brooks' diamond-certified albums were recorded or produced in Tennessee.

"When people think about what is really made in Tennessee, the thing that comes to mind quickest is music...we're proud to say that Garth Brooks has been made in Tennessee, and he's definitely part of the soundtrack of America."

As he stood next to the podium at the State Capitol on Monday, Brooks held his hat in his hands and looked at the banner behind him. He pointed to the words "7 Diamond Status."

"I couldn't be more proud to bring this back to the home of country music," he said.

When Brooks announced his retirement from country music in 2000 to move back to Oklahoma and raise his three daughters, he did so as the top-selling solo artist in U.S. history.  Brooks, now 54, returned to country music and Nashville in 2014 with an album and world tour.

Two years after his return to Tennessee, he is able to sell concert tickets at nearly twice the pace as he did in the late '90s when he earned two CMA Entertainer of the Year awards.

This year, he’s nominated for the award — one of country music's highest honors — again.

For Brooks, finding success so many years after leaving the spotlight was far from assured.

“If there was ever a doubt of coming back, it was because they wouldn’t let me back in,” Brooks told The Tennessean during an interview at his Music Row studio. “I never thought they would.”

Read more at the Tennessean.


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