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Garth Brooks: ‘You haven’t entertained until you’ve entertained Ireland,’ says singer

Country superstar brimming with love for Irish fans, and nerves, ahead of Dublin shows

Garth Brooks revealed he has lost 50lbs for his Croker Park shows as he spoke to the media yesterday ahead of his upcoming concerts at Croke Park. Photo: Gareth Chaney/ Collins Photos© Gareth Chaney

Laura LynottIndependent.ie

Country superstar Garth Brooks was in a loving mood for his first press conference ahead of his five-night Croke Park run.

The singer admitted he was brimming with nerves ahead of the shows, but spoke with affection – both about his wife and his fans in Ireland.

Indeed, he revealed that he and his partner Trish Yearwood have waited a long time for their “second honeymoon” around Ireland, which will take place once his Dublin run of shows are completed.

The Friends In Low Placesmusician said he hoped he and his wife hear “a lot of stories” while on their Irish tour and that a “lot of hugs” would be forthcoming from fans.

But before his first show in Ireland in 25 years tonight, Brooks (60) took time to heap praise on his his country singer wife yesterday.

The last time Brooks had performed in Dublin, Yearwood was a backing singer. But this time the Tulsa star wasn’t sure she would be on stage. However, the couple do plan to explore the country after his gigs are completed on September 17.

Brooks’s voice cracked with emotion when he spoke about his love for Yearwood and how she had offered to change her last name to his on their 15th wedding anniversary, two years ago.

“Her gift to me was...,” Brooks said, before being overcome. The singer apologised to the media before rallying. “She filled out the forms and all she needed was a signature to legally change (her) name,” Brooks said.

“If you knew Jackie Yearwood (his wife’s deceased father), he was one of the sweetest men on the planet.

“He had two daughters. The Yearwood name is with me. I said, ‘please don’t (change your name)’.”

The singer told his wife: “I wouldn’t have a problem tomorrow changing my name to your name. That’s how much I belong to that woman, I love that woman.”

The country star was also full of affection for his fans, saying he thankful to them for giving him the life he had and for his children’s comfortable lives.

Brooks said “people don’t (normally) make a living from music” and he realised he and his family were “very lucky, very blessed” because fans had “heard something and invested in it”.

“Because of that, my children’s children get to go to college. My dad had to work his ass off for a chance for his kids to go to college. And we took out government loans. And that’s how we got through, but you guys have made our lives extremely easy.”

The singer said he was “extremely grateful” to his Irish fans, who had supported his music throughout his 37-year career and joked that some of them will be “crazy enough to go to all five nights”.

He said he believes they will be elated to see his concerts. And the performer seemed to offer a playful reference to former US president Donald Trump’s famous slogan, rolled out during his 2016 presidential election campaign.

“We talk about making things great again,” he said. “I don’t believe that. I believe in the best thing right now. We just got to make it better.

“And that’s what we do, in our lives, with our children, with our countries. We make them better every day…”

He again spoke of his wife and her love for meeting and speaking to people. He expects their trip around Ireland to be a repeat of her usual pattern back home in the US.

“Everybody loves her and they should,” he said. “She is as regular and real down to earth.

“Usually a trip to the grocery store ends up taking an hour and a half.

“I’m hoping that the same thing (happens) here. I hope we run into a lot of people.” He added he hoped a “lot of hugs” would be on offer from fans, along with “a lot of stories”.

Brooks added he has shed 50lbs to prepare for the Croker shows. “I’m the same weight I was when he played here in ’97,” he said.

He said that despite his excitement for his Irish run, he is still “nervous”.

Addressing the cancellation in 2014, the singer said: “This is my take on 2014: everybody was victims of the debacle and now we are getting to see each other. It was supposed to start the comeback tour. I’m not here because of 2014, I’m here because of the ’90s, The Point.

“You can say you’re an entertainer but you haven’t entertained until you’ve entertained Ireland.”


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