Happy Birthday Garth Brooks: Relive the Country Icon’s Best Moments

by Matthew Wilson

Garth Brooks is turning 59-years-old today. The country singer shot to superstardom during the 1990s with a series of influential albums. Born on Feb. 7, 1962, Troyal Garth Brooks was destined for great things. The seven-time Entertainer of the Year has been a staple in the country music industry for years.

To celebrate Brooks’ birthday, Outsider looks back at some of Brooks’ best moments during his career.

Rocking a Free Concert in New York City

Garth Brooks certainly knows how to draw a crowd, even in New York City. New Yorkers apparently love their country music as much as anyone. Because they certainly turned out in droves to see Brooks. The country singer decided to hold a free concert in Central Park as part of an HBO special.

Back in the late 1990s, Brooks considered hanging up the cowboy hat for good. But he made sure he was going to go out with a show of force. He won’t semi-retire for another three years. But the 1997 concert was a showcase of his star power and has since been nick-named Garthstock. Around 1 million people attended the event.

Garth Brooks Hosts a Benefit Concert

Brooks certainly knows how to entertain. But sometimes he puts that passion and talent into helping others. In 2010, the country music held a benefit concert to help those affected by floods in Nashville. A series of storms had devastated Music City and the state that year. Brooks was just doing his part.

Of course, one concert wouldn’t do. The country singer decided to host nine in total and sold more than 140,000 tickets as a result.

The Singer Belts the National Anthem

Only Garth Brooks could bring the NFL to its knees. Super Bowl XXVII was notable for what was going off stage as much as on it. The country artist lent his full might and vocal range to a beautiful rendition of the National Anthem. But it’s a miracle that Brooks’ even made it to air time at all.

Brooks wanted the NFL to play his music video “We Shall Be Free” before the anthem. The country artist made the video in response to the Rodney King riots. But the NFL refused because of its political nature. Finally, they agreed because they had no choice. The kickoff had even been delayed, and Brooks scored a victory over the League. Since Brooks, the NFL made sure all performers pre-record the National Anthem as a result.

Garth Brooks Brings Joy to a Cancer Patient

Brooks made Teresa Shaw’s lifelong dream come true in 2014. He noticed the woman while at a show in Minneapolis, Minn. Shaw carried a sigh, “Chemo this morning. Garth tonight. Enjoying the dance” at the concert. Members of Brooks’ staff soon took notice of the sign, and Brooks met the woman in front of thousands of fans. The moment reduced the woman and everyone else to tears.

“You have all of my strength, you have everybody’s strength in here,” Brooks told Shaw, “and you go kick cancer’s a–!”

Fortunately, this story has a happy ending. Shaw later attended a Brooks’ concert in 2016 with a new sign: “I kicked cancer’s a–. Still enjoying the dance.”

The Singer Turned Down His CMA Entertainer of the Year

Either one of his best moments or one of his most controversial, Brooks took his name out of the running for the CMA Entertainer of the Year in 2020. In total, Brooks has won the coveted award seven times previously. Each could probably make its own separate entry on this list.

Controversy may have forced Brooks’ hand. Many thought Carrie Underwood should have won over him a year prior. But no one can doubt it’s a noble gesture on Brooks’ part to allow fresh talent an opportunity to win the award.

“It’s time for somebody else to hold the award and know what Entertainer of the Year feels like,” Brooks said. “We feel very lucky with seven.”

Trisha Yearwood and Garth Brooks Get Together

It’s hard to pick just one moment in one of country music’s most adorable love stories. Brooks and singer Trisha Yearwood were friends and singing partners, long before they were ever husband and wife. But it was easy for many to see the chemistry that the two shared.

Finally, in 2005, Brooks popped the question to Yearwood after the two started dating. The country singer made sure to do it in front of fans, pulling out a ring at a statue unveiling in California. That moment cemented the two’s love story for the ages. And in the years since, they’ve just piled on the adorable, romantic moments like that duet of “Shallow” they sang last year.

“This was somebody I always enjoyed being around, and we had a lot more in common than I ever dreamed we did,” Brooks said. “If you like her and don’t know her, you’ll love her. If you love her and don’t know her, you’ll worship her. She’s the real deal.”

Brooks Releases His Iconic ‘No Fences’

Many great musicians have that one album that stands above the rest. For, Brooks that album is without a doubt his 1990 album “No Fences.”

It stands in a league of its own when compared to Brooks’ other catalog. Upon release, the album shot straight to the top of the country music charts and also reached No. 3 on the Billboard 200. Sales-wise, the album sold over 18 million and helped to make Brooks’ a household name.

With songs like “The Thunder Rolls” and “Friends in Low Places,” the album swept the awards for 1991 and kicked off a period of Garth Brooks-mania.

Garth Brooks Is Inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame

And the cherry on Brooks’ long and successful career is getting inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame. In 2012, Brooks joined the genre’s greats of both old and new and earned his own place among their ranks. George Strait himself inducted Brooks during the ceremony.

Brooks had a lot of great triumphs during his career. And he’s sure to have more as he keeps singing. But this moment proves the lasting impact the artist has had in the country music industry.