CMA “Entertainer Of The Year” Nominee Garth Brooks marked the unrivaled achievement of becoming the first recording artist in the history of music to earn Seven Diamond Album Certifications from the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) last night, as thousands of fans filled every inch of Ascend Amphitheater and descended on the surrounding streets of downtown Nashville, TN to celebrate the monumental milestone.
The atmosphere was palpable, as the festivities commenced with Governor of Tennessee, Bill Haslam welcoming the high-energy crowd by presenting Brooks with a congratulatory custom belt buckle with seven diamonds to highlight each of the awarded albums. The evening continued as Brooks hosted a diverse group of surprise guests, including Jason Aldean, Kelly Clarkson, Reba McEntire, Chris Young, Steve Wariner and wife Trisha Yearwood. The hand-picked selection of long-time friends and peers, as well as country music’s superstars, brightest stars and icons, took the stage for a set of spine tingling performances. The revered guests all relished the unique opportunity to sing their chosen personal favorite songs from one of Brooks’ Diamond Certified albums: Garth Brooks, No Fences, Ropin’ The Wind, The Hits, Double-Live, Sevens and The Ultimate Hits, all of which were recorded in the state of Tennessee.
With the audience in the palm of his hand, Brooks sustained the hit-filled set with seven more songs taken from his Diamond Certified albums, each one crescendoing into a city-wide singalong. In a special moment, RIAA Gold & Platinum Program and Communications Director, Liz Kennedy Holman, then presented Brooks with his record-setting seventh Diamond Award. The unforgettable night’s curtain call was marked by a rousing rendition of Brooks’ infamous worldwide smash-hit “Friends In Low Places,” for which he was joined back on stage by his earlier special guests, capped off by a breathtaking firework-filled finale.
A stacked-day of landmark events, Brooks also announced yesterday the official track-listing for his much-coveted GARTH BROOKS: THE ULTIMATE COLLECTION, a 10-disc boxed set available at Target, featuring Brooks’ upcoming studio album GUNSLINGER and nine discs of curated music from his unrivaled catalog. The collection features 18 previously unreleased tracks, and last night backstage at the show, during his weekly “Inside Studio G” Facebook series, Brooks revealed that fans can exclusively preview a selection of songs, as well as their all-time favourites included in the upcoming boxed set exclusively on USA Today’s “Listening Room” at garth.usatoday.com.
GARTH BROOKS: THE ULTIMATE COLLECTION, will be released on Nov. 11, two weeks prior to Brooks’ upcoming album’s, GUNSLINGER, national standalone street date on Nov. 25. for Pearl Records, Inc. The first single taken from GUNSLINGER, “Baby, Let’s Lay Down And Dance,” has instantly captivated country radio and critics with Rolling Stone praising that “the upbeat country tune with Southern rock-inspired guitar riffs has a timeless sound.” During the pre-order for the upcoming boxed set, which began yesterday on Target.com, fans can purchase a limited-release holiday bundle – the 10-disc collection and CHRISTMAS TOGETHER, the first-ever duets album with Brooks and wife Trisha Yearwood.
Garth Brooks has received seven Diamond awards for seven individual albums from the RIAA for selling over ten million units each, a feat only he can claim, and is the No. 1 selling solo artist in U.S. history certified by the RIAA with over 138 million album sales. Throughout his illustrious career he has won the Billboard Music Artist Achievement Award, NACCP Image Award and has been inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame, Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame, and the International Songwriters Hall of Fame in New York. Garth also just received his 11th nomination for Entertainer of the Year from the CMA Awards.