Garth Brooks' Net Worth Is Off the Country Charts
Garth Brooks' net worth is about $400 million, making him one of the most successful artists of all time. He's the best-selling solo artist in the U.S. and is second in sales only to the Beatles.
In 2022, he finished what he said was his final tour, so let's take a look back at his music career as one of the greatest American singers to date.
Before Music Success
Tulsa, Oklahoma, native Garth Brooks was born in 1962. Growing up, it seemed as though he was destined for a career in sports. He was good at most athletics in high school, including football, baseball, and track and field. In fact, he earned a track scholarship to Oklahoma State University in Stillwater and competed in javelin.
When not competing and attending to his studies, Brooks worked as a bouncer at Wild Willie's Saloon in Tulsa. It was at this time that he formed his first band, Santa Fe.
Garth Brooks Nashville Beginnings
Brooks' main influences were more classic rock than county — he's a big fan of Queen, Bruce Springsteen, James Taylor and KISS. However, he liked country, and when he first heard George Strait, he decided to become a country artist.
In 1987, he moved to Nashville to break into music. While making the rounds with his demos, he worked retail selling cowboy boots. He didn't have much luck in music until spring 1988 when a record exec took a chance on him after seeing him play at the city's legendary Bluebird Café.
Hitting The Big Time
After releasing his self-titled debut album in 1989, Brooks quickly rose to the top. He won the Horizon Award from the Country Music Association (CMA) as well as Video of the Year for his single, "The Dance." The Academy of Country Music (ACM) also awarded him with Best Song and Best Video.
Brooks' sophomore effort, "No Fences," was a smash and sold more than 16 million copies. It was named album of the year by both the CMA and ACM, who both also named him Entertainer of the Year in 1991. As if his star couldn't get any brighter, his third album, "Ropin’ the Wind," made history, becoming the first county album to crossover into the top spot on Billboard's all-genre charts.
Brooks dominated the 1990s — his concerts became the stuff of legend, rivaling ticket sales set by U2, Bruce Springsteen and the Eagles. Throughout the decade, he kept releasing multi-diamond and platinum-selling albums, including "The Chase," "In Pieces," "Fresh Horses" and "Sevens."
He Held a Meet and Greet for the Record Books
No one can ever accuse Garth Brooks of not being there for his fans. In 1996, he held a 23-hour meet and greet at Fan Fair (now CMA Fest). He never stopped signing autographs, even for a restroom break.
He said, "I’m not sure I could sign autographs that long, but when you get to take pictures … and then hear those stories of what that music has done to them, and you’ve got somebody in a suit and tie going, 'I don’t think you’re still among the people,' I’m gonna take those stories over any awards or anything they can give me. ... I promise you I’m not making this up, but every story kept getting better and better."
Hello ... Chris Gaines?
At the end of the 1990s, Garth Brooks' alter ego, Chris Gaines, released "Garth Brooks in ... The Life of Chris Gaines," which admittedly confused some fans, but it was his way of trying out a different style of music.
If Gaines had taken off, Brooks would have made a movie based on his life, but it wasn't meant to be. Audiences wanted the Garth Brooks they had grown to know and love.
But, in 2000, Brooks was at a crossroads. He divorced and announced his retirement to spend more time with his kids.
Garth Brooks Proposes to Trisha Yearwood at a Legendary Venue
On May 25, 2005, Brooks, who had been dating country star Trisha Yearwood for at least two years, popped the question.
He chose Buck Owens' Crystal Palace as the place to place to ask for her hand. At the time, he and Yearwood were attending a ceremony recognizing country music legends.
Brooks married Yearwood later that year and settled down with his family in Oklahoma.
Yearwood Is a County Music Legend in Her Own Right
Trisha Yearwood ascended to country music superstardom around the same time Garth Brooks did. In fact, she sang backing vocals on his 1990 album "No Fences." When he toured in 1991, she was his opening act and released her self-titled debut at that time.
Her first single, "She’s in Love With the Boy" was the first of four hits from the album, for which she earned an Academy of Country Music Award as the top new female vocalist.
She went on to record several albums, one of which was "Songbook: A Collection of Hits," featuring the crossover pop hit "How Do I Live," which earned her two Grammys. She's since received several more Grammy nods and continues touring on her own and with Brooks.
A Return to Music
Brooks released one last album, "Scarecrow," before retiring, then stayed out of the spotlight for about eight years. One of his first forays back into music was his three-year residency at the Las Vegas Wynn Hotel in 2009.
From the moment he hit the stage, he played to sold-out audiences, but he has stated how much he loved being away from it all.
"The truth is, you know entertainment industries. They were ready to throw me out anyway, so I thought I’d leave before they tossed me out. It was a good time to take a real good look at life because my former 10 years had not been a real-life event. That decade of the ’90s was crazy. And being the life of a guy out on the road is not a real life, so this was good to get back to as close to real life as you could get being an artist."
Brooks’ 'Hits' Are in Space ... Literally
NASA astronauts have always had a fondness for Brooks. In 1995, astronaut Colonel Bill McArthur brought Brooks' CD "The Hits"into space when visiting the Mir Space station.
In 2017, Brooks and second wife, Trisha Yearwood surprised another fan, astronaut Jack Fischer who tweeted that Brooks' song "The River" was a personal favorite. The couple paid a visit to the Mission Control Center at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston and performed the song for him while he was on the International Space Station.
He said to Fischer, "Thank you very much for letting the music be part of your life. ... [It] is full of amazing moments, and I just got to have one."
He and Yearwood Sing to Astronaut Jack Fischer
He Was Streaming Before Streaming Was a Thing
Before Spotify was a household name, Brooks had his own streaming site, Ghosttunes, that he launched in 2014.
It not only featured Brooks music, but allowed other artists to sell their music on the site and contained more than 10 million songs. After partnering with Amazon in 2016, Ghosttunes was dissolved into Amazon Music.
He Remains Committed to Philanthropy
Brooks has given to many charitable organizations throughout his career. Most recently, he's worked with Habitat for Humanity.
Just a day before playing Notre Dame, Indiana, in May 2022, he participated in a fundraiser for the organization and performed for just 300 people. The private concert raised $635,000, which was doubled when an anonymous donor matched that amount.
Brooks and Yearwood have volunteered with Habitat for more than a decade, starting in New Orleans to help build post-Hurricane Katrina homes.
On The Road Again in 2022
In 2017, Brooks and Yearwood played 390 shows. They sold a whopping 6.3 million tickets and shattered records held by the Beatles and Rolling Stones. At the time, theirs was the biggest North American tour in history.
Brooks went viral in April 2022 after playing a show in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, at LSU's Tiger Stadium. Over 100,000 fans caused a small earthquake in the area as they danced and sang in unison to the classic "Callin’ Baton Rouge."
He's Opening a Nashville Bar
Brooks is about to be a bar and restaurant owner. He's opening an establishment in Nashville's Lower Broadway district.
The three-story venue and eatery will be "the Chick-fil-A of honky-tonks. I want a place where you go, where you feel good, feel safe and everybody’s got good manners. I'd love it to just be a classic honky-tonk. ... I'm hoping [it's] a thumping place that always looks like there's something crazy going on in there. When you walk in, I hope it's country music that you hear."
He plans on naming it after his hit, "Friends in Low Places."
You Can Still Catch Garth Brooks Live
While Brooks said he was on his final tour in 2022, that didn't mean he was done performing.
If you want to catch him in 2023 and 2024, he has a Vegas residency at the Colosseum at Caesars Palace. For more info, check out his website.