Troyal Garth Brooks (born February 7, 1962) is an American country music artist. His eponymous first album was released in 1989 and peaked at #2 in the US country album chart while climbing to #13 on the Billboard 200 pop album chart. Brooks's integration of rock elements into his recordings and live performances has earned him immense popularity. This progressive approach allowed him to dominate the country single and album charts while quickly crossing over into the mainstream pop arena, exposing country music to a larger audience.
Brooks has enjoyed one of the most successful careers in popular music history, breaking records for both sales and concert attendance throughout the 1990s. The RIAA has certified his recordings at a combined (128× platinum), denoting roughly 113 million U.S. shipments. Garth Brooks still continues to sell well, from the period of April 5th 2008 - September 26th 2008, he sold 277,000 albums in the U.S.—according to Nielsen Soundscan, which took his album sales up to 68,051,000—which makes him the best-selling artist in America, a title held since 1991, well over 11 million ahead of his nearest rival, The Beatles. In the all-time chart, he is second only to The Beatles in the United States. Brooks has released six albums that achieved diamond status in the United States, those being: Garth Brooks (10× platinum), No Fences (17× platinum), Ropin' the Wind (14× platinum), The Hits (10× platinum), Sevens (10× platinum) and Double Live (21× platinum). Since 1989, Brooks has released 19 records in all, which include; 9 studio albums, 1 live album, 4 compilation albums, 3 Christmas albums and 2 box sets, along with 77 singles. Brooks is estimated to have topped 220 million units in sales of singles and albums worldwide.
Troubled by conflicts between career and family, Brooks officially retired from recording and performing from 2001 until 2009. During this time he sold millions of albums through an exclusive distribution deal with Wal-Mart and has sporadically released new singles. In 2005, Brooks started a partial comeback, and has since given several performances and released two compilation albums.
On October 15, 2009, Garth Brooks announced the end of his retirement. Beginning in December 2009, he will start a 5 year concert deal with the Wynn Encore Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada. He continues to deny any plans to tour or record new music for another 5 years.