Garth Brooks recently sat down for a lively conversation with Melinda Newman, Billboard’s executive editor, during the Billboard Country Live event in Nashville.
The discussion covered various aspects of Brooks’ illustrious career, including his upcoming Las Vegas residency, his new radio network, and the possibility of new music from his alter ego, Chris Gaines. The engaging conversation left fans buzzing with excitement and anticipation.
One of the major highlights of the conversation was Brooks’ revelation about his new radio network.
He expressed his eagerness to curate country music that will be streamed in 120 countries, emphasizing his desire to “shrink the world” and showcase the roots and sounds of the genre.
With this network, Brooks intends to break the mold by presenting authentic country music that leans towards the traditional side, contrary to the preferences of European labels that once requested him to tone down the steel guitars and fiddles.
Brooks discussed the dominance of major labels in the radio industry.
He boldly stated that labels essentially own radio and control its agenda. However, with his new radio network, Brooks aims to defy the norm and provide a platform for artists who may not have major-label deals. He expressed his support for diverse voices, advocating for a balanced representation of both male and female artists on the airwaves.
Brooks voiced his desire to hear more female voices on country radio.
While acknowledging that the number of female artists on the scene may vary depending on their output of new music, he emphasized the importance of letting the music speak for itself and not favoring or excluding artists based on gender or skin color.
Brooks also delved into his personal life, acknowledging past mistakes and expressing gratitude for his wife, Trisha Yearwood, who played a pivotal role in turning his life around. He reflected on the challenges he faced earlier in his career, remarking that he would not have survived the scrutiny of social media if it had existed back then. His candidness and humility endeared him to the audience, who appreciated his honesty and growth as both an artist and an individual.
During the conversation, Brooks also touched upon his recent residency in Las Vegas, highlighting the intimate nature of the one-man show format.
He thrilled fans by hinting at the possibility of new music, including a mysterious track called “The Pleasure and the Pain.” Additionally, he revealed that he is contemplating a return to his alter ego, Chris Gaines, which excited longtime fans of the alternative rock project.
Brooks concluded the conversation by expressing his gratitude to his dedicated fanbase, acknowledging the impact music has had on his life. He shared his vision for a new bar and entertainment space in Nashville, aiming to create a welcoming environment where people can come together and enjoy country music with respect and kindness.
Brooks also teased an upcoming panel discussion on the music of the hit TV series Yellowstone, featuring the show’s star, Kevin Costner.
Brooks revealed that Costner asked the singer to play the catcher in his 1999 film For The Love Of The Game. Brooks told the crowd that he turned down the gig and shared why he never got into acting.
“I like singing, where you open up and you’re just honest,” he explained. “Bradley Cooper has been very sweet to me, Chris Pratt has been very sweet to me. I love what they do, but I couldn’t do that.”
With his boundless energy, sincere gratitude, and exciting plans for the future, Garth Brooks continues to captivate audiences worldwide. Fans eagerly await the launch of his radio network, the release of potential new music, and the opening of his honky-tonk in Nashville. Garth Brooks’ legacy as a music icon only grows stronger, and his dedication to his craft and his fans is unwavering.