Country music star Garth Brooks poses for a portrait session on a fence wearing a cowboy hat and playing a Takamine acoustic guitar on August 15, 1991 in Nashville.
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Garth Brooks Through the Years, From 1989 to Today


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Country Music Hall of Fame member Garth Brooks turns 60 this year (Feb. 7, 2022), making it as good a time as any to revisit snapshots from a pop culture-shaping timeline that begins with his Capitol Records debut in 1989 and continues today for one of the genre's most visible ambassadors.

Troyal Garth Brooks, the youngest child of oil company draftsman Troyal Raymond Brooks Jr. and former country singer Colleen McElroy Carroll, was born in Tulsa, Okla. on Feb. 7, 1962.

Before singing, guitar picking and songwriting took precedence, Brooks focused on athletics. He played multiple sports in high school and attended Oklahoma State University in Stillwater on a track scholarship. The javelin specialist's roommate, Ty England, later became a member of Brooks' touring band and, in 1995, a solo country star in his own right.

After a brief stay in Nashville in the '80s that lasted less than 24 hours, Brooks and his first wife, Sandy Mahl, came to Music City to stay in 1987. As happens for even the most gifted singer-songwriters, networking and seeking a record deal lead to more rejection than encouragement. That changed on April 12, 1989, when Capitol Records released Brooks' self-titled debut album.

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Classic Albums and Global Acclaim: 1989- 2000

American music industry executive Joe Smith shows an award to American singer and songwriter Garth Brooks from the Mayor of Los Angeles Tom Bradley (not pictured) circa December, 1990 in Los Angeles, California.

American music industry executive Joe Smith shows an award to American singer and songwriter Garth Brooks from the Mayor of Los Angeles Tom Bradley (not pictured) circa December, 1990 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Lester Cohen/Getty Images)

Garth Brooks performs at the Super Bowl, 1993.

Super Bowl XXVII: Actress Marlee Matlin (L) with singer Garth Brooks (R) performing national anthem before Dallas Cowboys vs Buffalo Bills game, Pasadena, CA 1/31/1993 (Photo by Richard Mackson/Sports Illustrated via Getty Images)

Brooks' first album peaked at No. 2 on Billboard's Top Country Albums chart and No. 13 on the all-genre Billboard 200. Its first single, "Much Too Young (To Feel This Damn Old)" pledged Brooks' allegiance to the traditional country sound he discovered through George Strait. Brooks' first No. 1 singles, "If Tomorrow Never Comes" and "The Dance," followed.

Brooks' sales figures and chart histories became more absurd with each subsequent studio album (1990's No Fences, 1991's Ropin' the Wind, 1992's The Chase, 1993's In Pieces, 1995's Fresh Horses, 1997's Sevens and 2001's Scarecrow) and single solidifying his status as one of the biggest success stories ever for Capitol Records, the former label home of The Beatles.

American country singer and songwriter Garth Brooks poses for a portrait as he gets a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on June 30, 1995 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Lester Coh

American country singer and songwriter Garth Brooks poses for a portrait as he gets a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on June 30, 1995 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Lester Cohen/Getty Images)

Garth Brooks fans applaud during a free concert by the country singer in New York's Central Park, 07 August. Officials predicted crowds in excess of 200,000 for the evening event.

Garth Brooks fans applaud during a free concert by the country singer in New York's Central Park, 07 August. Officials predicted crowds in excess of 200,000 for the evening event. (BOB STRONG/AFP via Getty Images)

Throughout his run of commercial success, Brooks' celebrity status positioned him for everything from a national anthem performance at the 1993 Super Bowl to a free 1997 concert in Central Park that's said to have drawn nearly 1 million people. Even supposed misses like Garth Brooks in... the Life of Chris Gaines earned double platinum status from the RIAA during a decade when country stars and their alter egos' CDs sold like hotcakes.

Outside of the music business, Brooks faired decently during spring training assignments for the San Diego Padres, New York Mets and Kansas City Royals.

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San Diego Padres outfielder Garth Brooks speaks to fans as he sign autographs prior to his team's Cactus League game against the Seattle Mariners 25 March, 1999 in Peoria, Arizona. The country and western entertainer is a non-roster invitee to the Padres' spring training camp.

San Diego Padres outfielder Garth Brooks speaks to fans as he sign autographs prior to his team's Cactus League game against the Seattle Mariners 25 March, 1999 in Peoria, Arizona. The country and western entertainer is a non-roster invitee to the Padres' spring training camp. (Photo by Mike FIALA/msf / AFP via Getty Images)

A Chris Gaines press conference featuring Pat Quigley, Don Was, Garth Brooks, guest, Tracey Edmonds and Kenny "Babyface" Edmonds.

Pat Quigley, Don Was, Garth Brooks, guest, Tracey Edmonds and Kenny "Babyface" Edmonds (Photo by SGranitz/WireImage)

Read More: Charley Pride + His Wife Rozene: A 60-Plus Year Love Story

Return From Retirement and Sustained Cultural Relevance: 2001- Today

Trisha Yearwood, Allie Colleen Brooks and Garth Brooks at Dr. Ralph Stanley Forever: A Special Tribute Concert at Grand Ole Opry House on October 19, 2017 in Nashville.

Trisha Yearwood, Allie Colleen Brooks and Garth Brooks at Dr. Ralph Stanley Forever: A Special Tribute Concert at Grand Ole Opry House on Oct. 19, 2017 in Nashville. (Photo by Rick Diamond/Getty Images)

(L-R) Jimmie Allen, Garth Brooks, and Trisha Yearwood attend the 53rd annual CMA Awards at the Bridgestone Arena on November 13, 2019 in Nashville.

(L-R) Jimmie Allen, Garth Brooks, and Trisha Yearwood attend the 53rd annual CMA Awards at the Bridgestone Arena on November 13, 2019 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by John Shearer/Getty Images for the Country Music Association)

On Oct. 26, 2000, Brooks announced his retirement from touring and recording. Brooks' daughters were born during the wild ride for him that was the '90s (Taylor Mayne Pearl (1992), August Anna (1994) and Allie Colleen Brooks (1996)), and retirement offered him the opportunity to focus on his personal life. Besides, he seemingly had nothing left to prove in the music industry.

Following his 2001 divorce from Mahl, Brooks fell in love with fellow country music artist Trisha Yearwood. The couple wed on Dec. 10, 2005.

Garth Brooks performs at the Allstate Arena on September 4, 2014 in Rosemont, Illinois.

Garth Brooks performs at the Allstate Arena on September 4, 2014 in Rosemont, Illinois. (Photo by Daniel Boczarski/Getty Images)

Honoree Loretta Lynn and Garth Brooks perform during the GRAMMY Salute to Country Music Honoring Loretta Lynn presented by Mastercard and hosted by The Recording Academy at Ryman Auditorium on October 12, 2010 in Nashville, Tennessee.

Honoree Loretta Lynn and Garth Brooks perform during the GRAMMY Salute to Country Music Honoring Loretta Lynn presented by Mastercard and hosted by The Recording Academy at Ryman Auditorium on October 12, 2010 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Rick Diamond/WireImage for NARAS)

Brooks played a few shows in the aughts, namely multi-night stands in Kansas City and Los Angeles, before officially coming out of retirement for 2009's Garth at Wynn residency in Las Vegas. He's since set out on a multi-year (2014- 2017) world tour. More recently, he's headlined American dive bars and football stadiums.

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A return to the studio followed, resulting in the post-comeback albums Man Against Machine (2014) and Fun (2020).

Brooks' sustained relevance in 2022 owes as much to his giving heart as his career earnings or halls/walks of fame honors. From his Habitat for Humanity allegiance to other charitable acts, Brooks continually uses his platform to benefit the greater good.

Rodnick Phillips (L), a patient at Cook Children's Medical Center plays a video game with former American football quarterback Troy Aikman (R) and Country Singer Garth Brooks at the Cook Children's Medical Center January 15, 2008 in Fort Worth, Texas. Aikman and Brooks were present for the opening of the Zone, a new therapeutic play room at Cook Children's Medical Center which was funded in part by The Troy Aikman Foundation.

Rodnick Phillips (L), a patient at Cook Children's Medical Center plays a video game with former American football quarterback Troy Aikman (R) and Country Singer Garth Brooks at the Cook Children's Medical Center January 15, 2008 in Fort Worth, Texas. Aikman and Brooks were present for the opening of the Zone, a new therapeutic play room at Cook Children's Medical Center which was funded in part by The Troy Aikman Foundation. (Photo by Jensen Walker/Getty Images)

Country singers Trisha Yearwood (L) and her husband Garth Brooks listen to former U.S. President Jimmy Carter speak after raising the wall on the 1,000th and 1,001st homes to be built by Habitat for Humanity on the Gulf Coast May 21, 2007 in Violet, Louisiana. Carter made waves May 19 when he said that the Bush administration "has been the worst in history", in an interview published in the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.

Country singers Trisha Yearwood (L) and her husband Garth Brooks listen to former U.S. President Jimmy Carter speak after raising the wall on the 1,000th and 1,001st homes to be built by Habitat for Humanity on the Gulf Coast May 21, 2007 in Violet, Louisiana. Carter made waves May 19 when he said that the Bush administration "has been the worst in history", in an interview published in the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

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