Belfast Telegraph

Brooks' benefit gigs are a sell out

Garth Brooks is going to be very busy in December.

Brooks sold more than 140,000 tickets on Saturday morning and his benefit concert for Nashville flood relief ballooned from one show to nine.

"It's great to be a part of the healing," Brooks said.

A statement said the day's sales set a record for tickets sold in Tennessee, beating a concert held by Michael Jackson at Neyland Stadium in Knoxville that drew more than 72,000 fans.

Brooks initially retired about a decade ago to spend more time with his family, but demand for the best-selling solo artist in US history remains high. The 48-year-old musician came out of retirement late last year, announcing a series of shows at the Wynn Resort in Las Vegas that quickly sold out.

The benefit concerts are his only arena shows this year and will include his wife, Trisha Yearwood, his full band and unnamed guests.

He will now play six shows in nine days from December 16-22 with two shows on December 16, 21 and 22. Tickets were 25 dollars (£15.45) each and he raised 3.5 million dollars (£2.1 million) for The Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee.

May's flood caused more than two billion dollars (£1.2 billion) in damage in Nashville alone and 22 people were killed by flooding in middle and west Tennessee.

Nashville's music community was affected with the Grand Ole Opry house closed for five months and thousands of instruments were destroyed when a popular storage and rehearsal space where artists like Brad Paisley and Keith Urban housed their gear was swamped.

There have been a series of benefit telethons and concerts since then hosted by country music stars like Tim McGraw and Faith Hill, and Vince Gill.

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