Garth Brooks tops the list of best-selling musicians of all time and it’s easy to see why. Beginning with his self-titled debut album in 1989, the country star has fused together pop and rock elements to create a sound listeners can’t get enough of.
The youngest of six children, Brooks was born in Yukon, Oklahoma. Music seemed like a side project growing up, but Brooks moved to Nashville in 1987 with the intention of working in the country music industry. A performance at the legendary Bluebird Café led to a contract and the rest, as they say, is history.
Brooks’ debut album arrived a year later and marked a steady output that has yet to slow down. Besides his best-selling albums, Brooks is known for electric live shows. In 2017, he and wife Trisha Yearwood launched the biggest tour in North American, selling 6.3 million tickets to their 390-stop tour.
Brooks has been recognized for his artistry and songwriting, including inductions in the Country Music Hall of Fame and the International Songwriters Hall of Fame. He’s also won ACM Awards CMA Awards, and Grammy Awards, including for Best Male Country Vocal Performance for his 1990 album Ropin’ the Wind.
The celebrity created from Charley Pride’s talent was surely a start; a showcase of what Black artists can bring to the table. But without the inclusion of Black talent in all facets of the industry, that inclusion is hollow and performative.