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Oklahoma Superstar Garth Brooks Announces Tour, New Music

Oklahoma Superstar Garth Brooks Announces Tour, New Music

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New music is coming and a living legend is back center stage after bowing out for family time. Country music superstar Garth Brooks on Thursday announced a record deal with Sony Music and an upcoming major tour.

When you have a chance to sign a megastar, “you just jump at it,” a Sony executive said.

Brooks, in his understated style of a pair of faded Wranglers, pearl-snap shirt and ball cap, said he is scared, old and he wants to “see what the second half is” of his career.

He said it is possible new music will come in the next two months. This time around, it will go out to all retailers. In the past years, Brooks held an exclusive agreement with Walmart, but that will not continue.

And for the first time, he also is embracing digital music. He said while he has been a holdout in that arena, he believes that it is time. All digital sales will be offered through GarthBrooks.com exclusively.

“When you do it right, we all succeed,” Brooks said.

Some people may mistake it as he is giving the music away during a small window, he said, but “there will be a chance to get it all at a stupid price... The people that have waited should be rewarded."

He also said ticket prices during the 2014 tour will be affordable and at prices he is proud of.

The Oklahoma native revealed the plans at a news conference that was publicized for a week and originally set for Monday. It was to serve as a double celebration for his upcoming kickoff in Dublin, plus the news of the world tour and record deal. He was forced to reschedule the Nashville news conference for later in the week because the Dublin situation imploded, leading him to cancel those Ireland shows on Tuesday.

"This week has been under a dark cloud,” Brooks said, noting it was supposed to be a happy annoucement, but it was overshadowed by Dublin. “We are hoping that joy will eventually shine."

More than 400,000 tickets had been sold for the Dublin shows, which were slated to start July 25 at Croke Park.

Brooks was originally scheduled to play two shows, and when the number of performances was increased to cope with demand, some nearby residents complained, the Associated Press reported. Dublin City Council last week refused to grant permission for five shows, saying they would cause "an unacceptable level of disruption" for residents and businesses, according to the AP.

The dispute became contentious in Ireland, with some residents petitioning to have the shows canceled because of a city ordinance limiting the park to three concerts and a rival petition called for them all to go ahead.

Brooks released a statement last week saying he would play five shows or none, and that by doing so, he was standing up for his fans. He said on Thursday that there never was a time during the process when the Irish government gave him any warning that adding more shows would be unacceptable.

"To choose which shows to do and which shows not to do, would be like asking to choose one child over another," he said, saying he didn’t think it was fair to the people of Dublin.

When an Irish-born reporter asked Brooks about the situation on Thursday, she said the people in the country are widely embarrassed about things and the way their government reacted.

Brooks told her that the people of Ireland had no reason to be embarrassed and called them the "most loving people," saying that an experience in Ireland is unmatched. He said he is just as sad as the fans, but he understands it isn't the fault of the Irish people -- it's the system.

“I’m sad about this; I’m the guy out the greatest experience of his life,” Brooks said.

In November, Brooks played the final show of his stint at the Encore Theater at the Wynn Las Vegas, and it was shown live on CBS to nearly 7 million households.

For the last three years, Brooks has been splitting his time between his home in Oklahoma and his sellout one-man show in Vegas. He said it has been a combination of the two things he loves most -- being a dad to his three daughters and performing music. He also recently welcomed his first grandchild to the world.

Brooks' first album was released in 1989, and it is estimated sales of his albums have topped 220 million. He has released 19 records in all. Brooks is a Hall of Famer and the second bestselling solo artist in all of music after Elvis Presley.

In 2001, he officially retired from recording and performing to spend time with his girls and his wife, Trisha Yearwood. He announced he was coming out of retirement to play exclusively in Las Vegas in Oct. 2009.

“The greatest gift you’ve ever given anyone is that gift you’ve given me [to retire and raise my daughters],” and the idea that there were people waiting around for a comeback is "humbling and flattering," he said.

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