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Garth Brooks to Go Digital, Announces New Record Deal

Garth Brooks
Jason Davis, Getty Images

Garth Brooks‘ music will be going digital. The singer made the stunning announcement during a press conference on Thursday (July 10).

In addition, fans can expect new music, released on Sony Music Nashville. The new studio album will be the legend’s first since 2001 — the same year he “retired” from the road.

For a long time, Brooks has declined to put his music online, as he insisted albums be released in their entirety. It’s not clear if that’s how he’ll release his music moving forward, but all digital sales will be handled through his official website, not iTunes. There will be a window when his entire collection will be released at a “stupid” price.

“People who have waited should be rewarded,” Brooks says.

The singer has been teasing a world tour for nearly seven months. In December, he let the news slip during an interview with ‘Good Morning America’ host Robin Roberts. Fans had not heard anything about an itinerary since, aside from five shows in Ireland that have been canceled.

Now fans know that on July 14, the first date of his world tour will be revealed.

The ‘Friends in Low Places’ singer hasn’t embarked on a full scale tour since 2001. At that time, he retired to be a full-time father while his daughters were in school, promising to come back after the youngest graduated. There has been no shortage of projects and concerts in recent years — most notably his long-term residency at the Wynn in Las Vegas.

In 2007, Brooks released ‘The Ultimate Hits,’ a package that included several new songs, most notably ‘More Than a Memory.’ Last November, he released a box set of covers called ‘Blame It All on My Roots.’ Both projects were available for a limited time only at Walmart.

The new album promises all new music. It will be released on Pearl Records and RCA Nashville. Sony CEO Doug Morris had the pleasure of introducing “the newest member of the Sony Music family.”

Longtime Brooks engineer Mark Miller will produce the new album. The singer indicated a new album — a double album! — will be released around Black Friday in November, with a first single being revealed in the next month. He indicated he’s still in the early stages, writing and finding songs.

“I’m getting my a– kicked by songwriters today,” Brooks says when asked if he’ll be writing. “I’m cutting everything but Garth songs.” He has been writing, but his songs aren’t as good as what he’s being pitched.

There’s one song, “that might very well … taken the place of ‘The Dance’ for me as my favorite Garth Brooks song ever,” he says with much anguish. But don’t expect him to follow trends. There will be nothing that smells like “bro-country” or “hick-hop” on the album.

It’s “Garth music,” he says succinctly.

Garth Brooks vs. iTunes, the Short Version

Next: What Else You Can Expect Now That Garth is Un-Retired

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