Garth Brooks, one of the biggest country stars of all time, said Thursday he was coming out of retirement after nine years away from the music business.
Brooks made the announcement at a press conference at the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville, Tennessee. A larger press conference is scheduled for 4 p.m. ET Thursday from a different, undisclosed location, to which Brooks was transporting a number of members of the news media. However, the singer will not be announcing a tour, according to spokeswoman Nancy Seltzer. “If he tours again, it still won’t be until his youngest goes to college,” Seltzer told CNN via text message. Brooks, 47, was one of country’s biggest stars in the 1990s. His albums, including “Ropin’ the Wind,” “The Chase” and “In Pieces,” sold in excess of 100 million copies, according to the Recording Industry Association of America. Brooks also was renowned for his concerts, which were marathon affairs in which he drove himself and his band with incredible energy. Brooks has had his missteps, most notably a 1999 concept album credited to an alter ego rock singer, Chris Gaines. Though the album received positive reviews, his traditional audience didn’t know what to make of it, and the rock audience didn’t respond. A film about the life of Chris Gaines was shelved. Brooks announced his retirement in 2000, saying he wanted to spend more time with his family. His last album of new material, “Scarecrow,” came out in 2001, though he’s lent his voice to occasional tribute singles and concerts, including a performance for President Obama’s inauguration festivities this year. Brooks is married to fellow country singer Trisha Yearwood, whom he wed in 2005.