Garth Brooks, the Legendary Country musician, controls an astonishing amount of net worth. Details of his earnings from album sales and tours, along with his divorce settlement of $150 million with ex-wife Sandy Mahl, found here. Learn which albums hit Platinum and Diamond, and facts about his charity & benefit tours.
If you’re a fan, you probably know of everything about Country legend, Garth Brooks, by watching a documentary/2-night-biography of his own called Garth Brooks: The Road I’m On. If you don’t, the recommendation is, it’s a must-see. It’s eye-opening, and you might also find inspiration for what you really want to do. If you’re not able to watch it right away, RollingStone has picked up a few things you can learn. Spoiler alert though, if the show is the type to be saying about.
Born on February 7, 1962 [age 58], Garth Brooks realized what he wanted to do the moment he heard Unwound by George Strait when at a grocery store with his dad. He was already a freshman at college at the time. Despite that age considered a little late to bloom in the music world, there aren’t many who can be the best of the century. He vies with the likes of The Beatles and Elvis Presley in country music best of the 20th century and of all time.
Every Country artist considers him a legend already.
Photo From: The Bull
While the documentary is enough to say many things about him, the numerous records and money he makes off of music, tours and royalties can further shock you, even if you know he’s already a legend of country music. Writing up his bio is pointless when you can just watch the documentary. Asides from that, here are the records he set in order to collect his impressive net worth. Note: Since his History is an extensive one, we’ll go only through things that may not be included in the documentary, especially those related to his fortune.
Garth Brooks’ $350 Million Net Worth Comes from His Outrageous Album Sales, Tours and Marketing Tactics
As of 2019, Garth Brooks holds an astounding net worth of $350 million, all through music, in whatever form he can use it. He’s released a total of 16 studio albums & three compilation albums (making 19 full-length albums), two live albums, 67 singles (inclusive in the albums), seven box sets and 13 other charted songs (the ones on Billboard and Top 10 song lists). Much Too Young (To Feel This Old) is probably his greatest hit as it is sold the most times as part of many of his albums over the year. It’s also his very first single.
Watch: ‘Much Too Young’ Probably Is His Most Sold Song
Many of his songs of the 20th century have ranked #1 in the US and Canada over the years. As you can imagine, the US is his only primary market, per his intention that is. When the songs were not #1, they were still at the top lists. While that situation has changed in recent years, his albums still continue to make huge sales, like the ’90s album, Sevens, marking his seventh Diamond album (more below) in the US just three years ago.
The revenue comes also from him continuous touring, much like Paul McCartney. While he announced his retirement in 2001 (after so many times expressing his intention) after the album Scarecrow, he was not able to step out for long and returned in 2005 to release a boxed set, The Limited Series. However, new music from him came only in 2014, Man Against Machine, that also hit Platinum in the US and Gold in Canada.
The 58-year-old has done five concert tours, while also going on for various other causes, particularly for charities & benefits. His 1991-92 Ropin’ the Wind Tour got him $17 million for 111 shows in 94 cities by December 1991. His first The Garth Brooks World Tour of 1993-94 earned a gross total of $26 million [according to the Billboard October 2000 issue], while his second world tour blew the roof off the earning limit.
The Garth Brooks World Tour of 1996-98 was the only $100 million-tour before the turn of the new millennium, grossing a total revenue of $105 million and attendance of 5.5 million from the 350 shows in 100 cities. It ranked third in the all-time list of concert attendance and eighth highest-grossing tour of the ’90s.
Brooks’ concerts are almost always sold out.
Photo Taken by: Barbara Johnston, University of Notre Dame
After returning from his break, the first real concert tour he did, the third The Garth Brooks World Tour, began in 2014 and went on until 2017. Imagine how much it got him after being placed the 14th highest-grossing tour of all time. $364.3 million was the total revenue by the end of it. He was making $1 million from every show.
From August 2014 to June 2015, the concerts earned him $90 million (the highest-paid country artist that year). August 2015 to June 2016 recorded $70 million (top again), and August 2016 to June 2017 recorded $60 million (top again) in revenue. In 2017, Forbes recorded an earning of $45.5 million for Brooks (second highest-earning country singer, after Luke Bryan, for the year).
Between 2009 and 2014, he was performing for his Garth at Wynn concert residency at Steve Wynn‘s Encore Theater in Las Vegas. He’s also had four benefit concerts until now. He’s now embarking on his latest tour, The Garth Brooks Stadium Tour, that began in October 2019, along with his promotional tour for his and Blake Shelton‘s single, Dive Bar. And update on the Dive Bar Tour here.
As for the Marketing Technique — The Streaming Deals and Other Deals Before That
Saving Country Music noted how one song of Brooks has been the most sold with around 70 million total copies. Much Too Young (To Feel This Old), produced over 30 years ago, has been “bought and sold on ten different releases, over three different decades, and through the administrations of six different United States Presidents”. The site also notes how Amazon is the only place one can stream the song since he has an exclusive deal with them. Don’t stop listening to the songs though.
His songs have also been inspirational to many.
Source: Lucas Jackson, Reuters
It’s impressive that before October 2016, his songs were not available on any streaming sites and they still made tremendous sales over the years with several record certificates. He signed the exclusive deal with Amazon‘s proper music streaming service, Amazon Music Unlimited, so that it was the only place available for his streams. All the fans concentrated to a single service — a genius technique indeed. Despite getting into streams, he is clear about preferring radio for music.
The country artist’s first record deal came with Capitol Records on June 17, 1988, after playing in clubs around Oklahoma and relocating to Music City (plus after being initially rejected by the executives). We Shall Be Free, released in 1992 to express his desire for tolerance, peaked at No. 22 on the Billboard Christian Songs charts due to a marketing deal with Rick Hendrix Company, which also got him the 1993 GLAAD Media Award. In 2005 (after announcing his return to the music world), he signed an exclusive deal with Walmart and leased them the rights to his entire catalog that he got back after the split from Capitol Records.
Money also comes off from a number of endorsement deals that he signed with different companies, not just of the music genre. Garth Brooks Sevens by CINCH clothing line was released in 2016, featuring jeans and shirts inspired by the singer.
The Records and Honors He Made in Music – The Battle for the Top Selling Solo Artist with Elvis Presley
The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) records the sales for music artists and recently also includes streaming sales as well. Brooks has albums and songs across all levels of Music Recording Certificates in the US — Silver (100,000 album sales), Gold (500,000 album sales), Platinum (1 million album sales) and Diamond (10 million album sales).
As of this current moment, Garth Brooks is the only person to have seven Diamond-certified albums, reaching the mark with Sevens back in October 2016, surpassing The Beatles’ record of six. It means his self-titled debut album (Garth Brooks, 1989); No Fences, 1990; Ropin’ The Wind, 1991; The Hits, 1994; Sevens, 1997; Double-Live (which also went Double-Diamond), 1998; and The Ultimate Hits, 2007; have totaled at least 70 million album sales for Brooks.
Garth Brooks received his 7th Diamond Certificate from the RIAA in 2016.
Picture credit: Ben Krebs
Here are all the platinum hits (for the gold calculations, multiply each Platinum record by 2, basic math):
- Garth Brooks (10× Platinum)
- No Fences (17× Platinum)
- Ropin’ the Wind (14× Platinum)
- Beyond the Season (3× Platinum)
- The Chase (9× Platinum)
- In Pieces (8× Platinum)
- The Garth Brooks Collection (3× Platinum)
- Fresh Horses (7× Platinum)
- The Hits (10× Platinum)
- Sevens (10× Platinum)
- Double Live (21× Platinum)
- The Life of Chris Gaines (2× Platinum)
- Garth Brooks and the Magic of Christmas (Platinum)
- Scarecrow (5× Platinum)
- The Lost Sessions (3× Platinum)
- The Ultimate Hits (10× Platinum)
- Blame It All on My Roots: Five Decades of Influences (4× Platinum)
- Man Against Machine (Platinum)
- The Ultimate Collection (9× Platinum)
- Gunslinger (Platinum)
The record certificates also exist in many other countries, and though you might not think Country is something people listen to, he also has a ton of records abroad.
There always has been a debate about who the best-selling solo artist of the 20th century is. While RIAA states Garth Brooks has taken the title, Elvis Presley fans never hold back. While fans from either side claim they sold more back then, Brooks himself considers him as one of the greats and that Presley sold more in that century.
Before 2006, Presley was named the best-selling solo artist after several reviews in their methods by RIAA. Brooks was second. As for the best-selling artist in all categories, The Beatles beat them both. In November 2007, audit sales of 123 million got him above Presley. Elvis surpassed Brooks again after many certifications from RIAA in December 2010. Brooks again became the best-selling solo artist after recording a total of 136 million sales, after Man Against Machine went Platinum, until after-2014.
Watch: Suffer Through the Video Quality but Watch As Brooks Sings for an 89-Year-Old Birthday Girl Whose Last Concert Was by Elvis Presley
Brooks also surpassed The Beatles as the top-selling act of the past 20 years in 2012 with 68.5 million unit sales worldwide. With 69.544 million copies sold until 2014, he was named the best-selling artist in the US.
The ‘The Dance‘ singer has also been honored with 23 Academy of Country Music Awards (out of 49 nominations) and 2 Grammys (out of 13 nominations) along with several nominations and wins in the Billboard Music Awards, American Music Awards, People’s Choice Awards, Country Music Association Awards, Primetime Emmy Awards and Golden Globe Awards, among others.
He was inducted into the Cheyenne Frontier Days Hall of Fame in 2010 and the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2012. Other honors also include being inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame and the Musicians Hall of Fame and Museum.
Garth’s First Divorce Was One of the Most Expensive Ones Ever – The Money Side of His Divorce from Sandy Mahl
Personal life can take quite a toll on a musician’s career since they will be constantly traveling the country and the world. Of course, Garth Brooks’ separation from his first wife, Sandy Mahl, was a tough one and also one of the reasons for his initial retirement from music.
Garth Brooks’ net worth dwindled down after the divorce from Mahl.
Photo taken by: Ron Galella, WireImage
Brooks met businesswoman Mahl when they were both studying at Oklahoma State University and got married to her in 1986, before his fame even started. They had three daughters together: Taylor Mayne Pearl (1992), August Anna Russell (1994) and Allie Colleen Brooks (1996), before separating in March 1999. It was not a coincidence that he wanted to retire at the time, having announced it on The Nashville Network‘s Crook & Chase program. He left music to be a better dad and a husband in 1999 but found out the husband thing didn’t work out for him.
In October that year, the pair announced their plans for divorce. Less than three weeks later, he announced his retirement. They filed for divorce on November 6, 2000, which was finalized in December 2001. In between, his album, Scarecrow, was still released.
Brooks’ daughters are all grown up and still look similar to each other.
Photo from: Facebook
It’s no comparison for the billion-dollar divorces, but it was definitely one of the most expensive divorces yet. Brooks was already worth well over $300 million at the time and reportedly paid $150 million in divorce settlements. He also settled in Oklahoma with his second wife, after remarrying, like he had promised his first wife in 1999. Mahl never remarried. As for the girls, they’re all grown up, and August even had daughter Karalynn Russell (Brooks’ granddaughter) with Chance Michael Russell.
Finding Love Again in Second Wife and Singer Trisha Yearwood
It was a blessing for Brooks to have found new love in fellow country singer and chef, Trisha Yearwood during his lengthy hiatus. As it could be, their romantic life may have been the reason for him to come back to music. He could, after all, go around tours taking her for her own tour as well. And they actually did. They married on December 10, 2005, just after announcing his return to the world stage.
Finding someone with the same passion has been a huge boon for Brooks.
Photo by Charles Sykes, Invision/AP
They are still together and have traveled together in plenty of Brooks’ concerts and shows, including his $364.3 million making comeback world tour. With that, his net worth has been restored and increased even more.
Charities and Social Activities for Spending the Fortune
Garth Brooks is no stranger to charity either. He started the Teammates for Kids Foundation (focusing on children’s sports) in 1999 and supports Habitat for Humanity‘s work with his wife. The foundation donated over $1 million funds to Habitat for helping build homes in Thailand after the 2013 tsunami. He’s obviously held concerts for charity and benefit events. For tickets of $40 (double the usual $20 at the time) in his January 2008 Garth Brooks: Live in LA benefit concert, he made a record being the first to perform 5 shows in a 48-hour time-frame. The concerts were for the Fire Intervention Relief Effort to serve those impacted by the 2007 California wildfires.
Brooks held the Garth Brooks’ Flood Relief Concerts in a December week to raise funds for the Nashville flood of May 2010. With 140,000 tickets sold, $5 million raised which was completely given away for charity. On July 6, 2013, he joined Toby Keith for the Oklahoma Twister Relief Concert at the Gaylord Family Oklahoma Memorial Stadium and raise about $2 million for the cause. On August 22, 2015, amidst his comeback world tour, he went to Barretos, Brazil, and performed a sold-out concert to benefit the Hospital de Câncer de Barretos.
Watch: Garth Brooks Relives the Moment a Cancer Patient Held a Sign at His Concert and He Stopped It to Meet Her
Garth is a strong advocate of gay rights and same-sex marriage, inspired by his own lesbian half-sister Betsy Smittle who passed away in 2013. At the Equality Rocks benefit concert for gay rights in 2000, he sang a duet with gay singer George Michael. He’s also received a GLAAD Media Honors for his song, We Shall Be Free.
The Garth Brooks Collection was a charity CD initially sold exclusively at McDonald’s to benefit the Ronald McDonald Children’s Charities. He got $4.99 for every piece sold as royalties and the charities received $1.
There are a lot of things about Garth Brooks that are still left to be discussed. Fans will know what they can about him, including his plan to release another album in 2020, Fun. As he breaks new records, we will be covering his stories in the Fortune Focus section. For more Celebrity Net Worth related articles keep surfing celeb$fortune.