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High and low places: Five key Garth Brooks moments

With much of the country gripped in Garth Brooks mania this week, Independent.ie looks back at five times when the country music legend made big headlines.

One million people attend free Central Park concert

In August 1997, at the height of his powers, Brooks played a free concert in New York’s Central Park which was attended by an estimated one million fans.

Dubbed ‘Garthstock’, the phenomenal attendance made it the largest concert in the park’s history. 

Live tribute to cancer patient

In 2014 while playing a concert in Minneapolis, Minnesota, Brooks paid a special tribute to one of his loyal fans who was battling cancer at the time.

While performing his hit track The Dance, Brooks spotted Iowa woman Teresa Shaw, who was holding a sign which said “Chemo this morning, Garth tonight. Enjoying The Dance.”

The singer brought Ms Shaw forward to the stage and performed the song directly for her in front of thousands of fans.

Afterwards he held up her sign and said, “God just stuck his hand out and wrote ‘I exist.’ You have all my strength; you have everybody’s strength in here and you will kick cancer’s ass!”

Ms Shaw later made full recovery from the illness.

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Falling to Pieces

In 1993, after he hit out at music shops selling secondhand CDs, which he said led to a loss of proper royalties, Brooks’ record label said it would not to sell his new album In Pieces in stores which did so. It ended with a legal backlash, resulting with the label, Capitol Records, finally shipping the album to all stores.

Induction into Country Music Hall of Fame

In 2012 Brooks received country music’s highest honour when he was inducted into its Hall of Fame.

The Country Music Association created the accolade to recognise significant contributions to the advancement of country music by individuals in both the creative and business communities. Its first members Jimmie Rodgers, Fred Rose and Hank Williams were inducted into Hall of Fame in 1961.

Brooks’ inclusion in the prestigious society came after he won 22 Academy of Country Music Awards and 13 Grammy Awards.

2014 Croke Park cancellation

It has been a long road back to Dublin for Brooks after his 2014 Irish tour fell at the final hurdle. The Tulsa Oklahoma native sold out a record-breaking five concerts before objections from local residents came flooding in.

When Dublin City Council told the promoters two of the concerts would have to be cancelled, Brooks said he would do all five or none. The tour was ultimately cancelled much to the disappointment of hundred of thousands of Irish fans and cowboy hat producers. 

However, Irish people are now set to splash €30m on tickets for the star’s shows in 2022.

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