Troyal Garth Brooks (born February 7, 1962 in Tulsa, Oklahoma) is an American country music singer songwriter and charity director. Brooks was a phenomenal musical force in the 1990s. He had his chart breakthrough in 1989, having come apparently from nowhere, and was an immediate commercial success. Lacking the tall and lanky physical appearance typical of some male country stars, he successfully integrated pop and rock elements into his recordings and live performances. He soon began to dominate the country singles and country albums charts and quickly crossed over into the mainstream pop arena, selling records like no one else in country music ever had and exposing country music to a larger audience than previously thought possible. Brooks enjoyed one of the most successful careers in popular music history, with over 70 hit singles and 15 charted albums to his credit and over 115 million albums sold in the US alone, breaking records for both sales and concert attendance throughout the 1990s. Possibly dissatisfied and looking to expand his career boundaries, he then attempted an artistically ambitious (but uncompleted) multimedia project involving a fictitious alter ego. Troubled by the conflicts between career and family, the year after the decade ended Garth Brooks announced his retirement from recording and performing, thereby disappearing from the music world as suddenly as he had come. Recently he has announced his return to live performances by agreeing to a 5 year 15 show a year contract in Vegas. His plan is to finish this contract, write some new stuff, and wait for his youngest daughter to go off to school, and then he plans to return to touring with his wife.