By Kurt Wolff
When Garth Brooks decides to do something, he doesn't pussyfoot around. So when it came time to emerge from his self-imposed retirement, Brooks chose to do so in a big—no, wait, make that huge—way.
In late 2013 he released an eight-disc box set, featuring songs he'd been covering during his Las Vegas residency. He also performed live for fans during a prime-time CBS-TV special.
This set the stage for what was to come: Namely, a multi-year World Tour with his wife, Trisha Yearwood, an album featuring all-new material (his first in over a decade) and—finally!—a plan to release his music digitally.
While he teased some details earlier in the year, Brooks announced much of this news during a July press conference in Nashville. Fans, of course, went nuts.
His comeback tour debuted in Chicago in September, where he played a total of 11 shows. Multi-date runs in numerous cities followed, and in every case, the fans turned out in droves and were thrilled beyond belief to see Brooks back on stage again. Brooks seemed to be having the time of his life, too.
September also saw Brooks release his back catalog digitally for the first time. He didn't do it via familiar outlets like iTunes or Spotify, however; he chose to launch his own digital retail platform called GhostTunes.
The fall also saw two new two radio singles from Brooks, the bubbly, upbeat "People Loving People," followed later by the sentimental ballad "Mom." Both were from Brooks' new album Man Against Machine, which he released in November.
The shows continue to be announced one city at a time, and they continue to attract fans by the thousands. This massive tour initiative, coupled with the new music and the new digital platform, led to Brooks earning a well-deserved nomination for Entertainer of the Year at the 50th annual Academy of Country Music Awards.
Watch the video and see why Brooks received his nomination.
The ACM Awards air Sunday, April 19 at 8 p.m. EST on CBS.
for more features.