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File:Garth brooks.jpg


Garth Brooks was, quite simply, the voice of country music for the better part of The Nineties. In the entirety of the country genre, only the Eagles, Kenny Rogers, and Elvis Presley have sold as many albums as Garth Brooks. His Ropin' The Wind was one of the first albums to be certified Diamond by the RIAA, and was the first country album ever to debut at #1...on the Billboard 200 album chart that tracks all albums, not just country albums. (For reference, it held the spot between Metallica's Black Album and Use Your Illusion II by Guns N' Roses.)

Although he wasn't the best singer of country songs, he may well have been the best showman country music ever had. With a half-dozen nationally televised concerts, including memorable ones in Texas Stadium (which installed two bridges to support his antics; the "Garth Bars" remained until the stadium was demolished), Central Park in New York, and Croke Park in Ireland.

About the only thing Garth did that didn't turn to gold was make an alter-ego, Chris Gaines. This was because there was supposed to be a movie and it was supposed to be the soundtrack for it. Because there was no movie, there was no context, and it looked like some crazy ego trip. Unbelievably, this failed alter-ego project gave Brooks his sole US Top 40 hit with the ballad "Lost in You." Until that point he had never actually pursued pop radio, except through a cover of Kiss' "Hard Luck Woman."

He is currently in semi-retirement with his wife, fellow country singer Trisha Yearwood, and his daughters from his first wife. In November 2009, he announced that he would un-retire yet again to do a show in Vegas.

In 2012, Brooks was named to the Country Music Hall of Fame, an honor many said that – given his accomplishments – was inevitable.

Tropes present:

  • Ascended Fanboy: Used his popularity to fulfill his livelong dream of guest-starring on The Muppet Show (or at least a Muppet show) as well as perform on a tribute album for the band he claims inspired his entire career: Kiss.
  • Audience Participation Song: A big part of his success. Very present on Double Live; the crowd sings along on nearly everything. Most notably on the version of "Friends in Low Places"; coming out of the second chorus, he vamps on the A chord while the audience cheers, then yells, "WHAT?!?" before lampshading the presence of the song's "third verse" (which he's only ever done in concerts, and which at that point had no official recording). He then lampshades this trope by saying "I think the friends in low places should sing the third verse", which they do.
  • Bitter Wedding Speech: "Friends in Low Places". Better: Singer wasn't invited.
  • Black Sheep Hit: "Lost in You."
  • Bolivian Army Ending: A rare musical version of this in "Ireland"

 "And there are no words to be spoken, just a look to say goodbye

"I draw a breath and night is broken, as I scream our battle cry"

  • Calling the Old Man Out: "The Night I Called the Old Man Out."
  • Corpsing: Does it a couple of times on Double Live. The first time basically made "Unanswered Prayers" a full Audience Participation Song, and the second is right at the end of the Double Live exclusive "It's Your Song".
  • Disproportionate Retribution: In the song "Pappa Loved Momma", when long-haul trucker Pappa finds out that Momma's not only cheating on him, but has been for a while, his response is to kill her and her lover by driving through the motel room they are in with his semi-truck.
  • Distinct Double Album / Live Album / Greatest Hits Album: Double Live is all three rolled into one.
  • Domestic Abuse: The secondary theme for the video for "The Thunder Rolls" (with the song's primary theme being the cheating husband).
  • Drowning My Sorrows: Both "Friends in Low Places" and "Two Piña Coladas".
  • Dual-Meaning Chorus: The Thunder Rolls, again. From the literal thunder of the storm, to the emotional thunder of a woman scorned, to the thunderlike sound of a gunshot.
  • Embarrassing First/Middle Name: Let's put it this way: It was either Garth or Troyal. Seems he made the right choice.
  • The Fundamentalist: Averted. Though he is devout, he also caught flack from Christian Moral Guardians for his pro-gay lyrics in "We Shall Be Free".
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar: "It's Midnight Cinderella" is very unsubtle with its Double Entendre. It also has the line "by the way he's walking, I can guess where your slipper's at."
    • "Wrapped Up In You" is right there in the title. There was a Dr Pepper campaign based on.
  • Ghost Story: "The Beaches of Cheyenne", although Word of God is that it wasn't originally intended to be one.
  • Gold Digger: "Digging For Gold" from In The Life Of Chris Gaines.
  • Hospital Hottie: The liner notes of In The Life Of Chris Gaines feature on the cover of Chris' album "Straight Jacket" a young Chris in a straight jacket being flanked by two attractive nurses.
  • Lampshaded Double Entendre: From "Two Of A Kind, Workin' On A Full House": "We really fit together if you know what I'm talking about"
  • May-December Romance: "That Summer"
  • Nice Hat: He always wears a black cowboy hat. (Well, sometimes he changes it up and wears a white cowboy hat.) He is, after all, the codifier for the country music "hat act".
  • Old Flame Fizzle: "Every Time That It Rains"
    • "Unanswered Prayers", also. Here the singer thanks God for not answering his prayer to give him his Old Flame, which would've prevented him from having his current wife.
  • One Mario Limit: Zig-zagged. A singer whose real name was Douglas Jackson Brooks changed his name to Doug Stone to avoid confusion with Garth. Brooks & Dunn, on the other hand...
    • On the third hand, Garth is the more prominent name, and the only one that measures up is Mr. Algar, who was created before Garth's rise to fame.
  • Record Producer: Garth worked with produer Allen Reynolds on all but the Chris Gaines album, which was produced by Don Was.
  • Rerelease the Song: "Wild Horses", a track from his critically-acclaimed No Fences album, got released as a single in 2001, ten years after the album came out.
  • Serial Escalation: In 1991, "The Thunder Rolls" debuted at #19, making it the second-highest debut on the country charts. Fifteen years later, he would tie the record (which was set by Eddie Rabbitt's "Every Which Way but Loose") with the #18 debut of "Good Ride Cowboy." The next two years saw Keith Urban and Kenny Chesney debut singles at #17 and #16, respectively... and only one week after Kenny's debut, Garth's "More Than a Memory" debuted at #1.
    • To put this in perspective: The country music singles charts are tabulated entirely by airplay, not by physical sales or downloads like the all-genre Hot 100 and certain other charts. The nearly 120 stations surveyed by Billboard each had to play "More Than a Memory" an average of 30 to 35 times in one week. What's more, Garth was on an independent label at the time.
    • Another perspective maker: Garth's album Ropin' the Wind was the first country album to debut at #1 on the Billboard 200 albums chart. This is the chart for all albums, not just country. Perspective? It first held the position between Metallica's Black album and Use Your Illusion II by Guns N' Roses. And then the album would go back up to #1 three more times, with competition coming from U2's Achtung Baby and Nirvana's Nevermind.
  • Shout-Out: He name-drops singer/rodeo star Chris LeDoux in "Much Too Young (To Feel This Damn Old)". Although Chris was a No-Hit Wonder (his biggest charter was a collaboration with Garth entitled "Whatcha Gonna Do With A Cowboy"), he and Garth became closely associated — especially after Chris' death in 2005, which led to Garth's tribute song "Good Ride Cowboy".
  • Signature Song: "Friends in Low Places," "The River" and "The Dance" seem to be his trifecta of signature songs. More subjective examples include "Much Too Young (To Feel This Damn Old)," "Unanswered Prayers," "The Thunder Rolls," "Rodeo" and "Callin' Baton Rouge." (Note that neither "Much Too Young," "Rodeo" nor "Callin' Baton Rouge" were Number One hits.)
  • Stillborn Franchise: The Chris Gaines stuff.
  • Ten-Minute Retirement: Wasn't he supposed to retire after Scarecrow? Yeah, but Chris LeDoux died, so let's put out "Good Ride Cowboy" in his honor and tack it onto a collection of previously-unrecorded scraps from earlier on. What's that? Another Greatest Hits package? Fine, send out "More Than a Memory" and have it debut at #1.
    • Of course, the primary reason for his retirement is to spend more time with his daughters, but the itch to perform is strong.
      • He's announced his intention to return to touring after his youngest daughter graduates.
  • Terror At Make Out Point: "The Night Will Only Know" has two married people (as in married to other people) witnessing a murder during their night of passion in the backseat. The murderer gets off scot-free because the lovers can't reveal what they know about the murder without also revealing their affair, resulting in the victim's death being ruled a suicide.
  • Thirteen Is Unlucky: Garth has admitted to being a triskaidekaphobic. Double Live has 13 songs on the first disc; to keep the last one from being number 13, the official track listing skips from 12 to 14, and "track 13" is just three seconds of applause between songs.
  • Unplugged Version: Brooks' Double Live version of "Unanswered Prayers" is just him, his guitar, and 50,000 of his closest friends.
  • Your Cheating Heart: Special mention to "The Night Will Only Know", where a couple each cheating on their spouses are trapped into silence, allowing a murderer to go free.
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