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Garth Brooks' 'Shameless' Taught Lou Ridley More Than a Love for Country Music

Bethany R. Reed

By including "Shameless" on his 1991 album Ropin' the Wind, Garth Brooks hat-tipped one of the rock 'n' roll inspirations for his high-energy stage show: the song's writer and original performer, Billy Joel. In the process, Brooks left a mark on the genre-defiant visions of many of today's most promising artists, including Nashville-via-Los Angeles singer-songwriter Lou Ridley.

"Shameless" taught Ridley to do more than love country music and appreciate time spent with family. The words of Joel, as sung by Brooks, were among the first she spoke.

"That was the first song I ever learned to sing when I was little," Ridley told Wide Open Country. "When my dad met my mom, I was about six months old. He adopted me. When they were still getting to know each other, he had me in the back of the car. At this time I was maybe like a year-ish... I was really young, I know that. I was still learning to talk, and we were all in the car. My dad used to listen to Garth Brooks all the time, and out of nowhere, I got out of my little car seat and said, 'Chameless, Chameless!' It became a family joke for the entire duration of my dad's life. I'm little miss 'Chameless.'"

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Fast-forward to now, and the term "Shameless" suits the singer of "Hometown" and "Hellfire."

"Honestly, if you think about my personality, I'm pretty shameless myself," Ridley added. "I think there's something tied in there with my lack of fear of judgment. Maybe Garth Brooks did this to me. Maybe that's why I'm so outspoken."

Ridley teased that when she goes on tour in early 2022, childhood favorite "Shameless" might make it onto her live setlist.

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Garth Brooks' 'Shameless' Taught Lou Ridley More Than a Love for Country Music