October 16, 2009 By Allison Reitz
For the past eight years, former country king Garth Brooks has lived in quiet retirement for the most part. He resurfaced for some special concerts, but hung up his cowboy hat when it came to long-term performance and recording plans. Until now, that is.
Later today, October 15, Brooks is expected to announce plans for an extended residency at the Wynn casino and hotel in Las Vegas, NV. The press conference will be streamed live on the musician’s official Web site at 2 p.m. (PT).
Brooks hinted at his announcement earlier today at the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville, TN. According to Reuters, he told reporters at the historic country music hall, “I know this is a young industry, so I’m not sure I’ll be welcomed back but, if the fans want me, I still want to pursue my music.”
Speculation has been mounting recently about the guitar-slinger’s plans to reenter the music industry after remaining out of the public eye for so long.
The Wynn is the presumed setting for Brooks’ comeback, which published reports have set for a four-month run. The desert resort further fueled speculation when it scheduled a special announcement for this afternoon.
Brooks officially announced his retirement in October 2000, citing his desire to stay home with his children as a contributing factor.
“If you take time off and then try and jump back in and do it again, you might think you’re doing as good as you were, but, truth is, you’re not,” Brooks ironically said in his retirement speech, according to archives of the press conference.
Brooks’ “farewell” studio album, “Scarecrow,” was released shortly thereafter in November 2001. The record topped the Billboard 200 and was certified five-times multi-Platinum in early 2006.
The performer’s career launched in 1989 with the release of his self-titled debut. Since then, Brooks has sold approximately 128 million albums, making him the second best-selling artist in the U.S. behind the Beatles, according to the RIAA.
If Brooks does hit the stage at the casino-hotel’s Encore Theater, he would be the venue’s first permanent headliner since the May 1 death of Sin City’s family friendly performer Danny Gans.
Despite his retirement, Brooks has remained a top-selling act — both in terms of records and concert tickets. He sold out special, multiple-night concerts in Los Angeles, CA, and Kansas City, MO, in 2007.