NASHVILLE — Country music superstar Garth Brooks has more than just friends in low places. The Library of Congress said Wednesday the Grammy winner will receive the Library of Congress Gershwin Prize for Popular Song in March 2020.
Previous recipients include Tony Bennett, Paul Simon, Carole King and Willie Nelson.
Brooks is a member of the Country Music Hall of Fame. His hits include “Friends in Low Places,” “The Thunder Rolls” and “The Dance.”
At 57, he’ll be the youngest recipient of the Gershwin Prize. He will be honoured with an all-star tribute concert in Washington, D.C., that will air on PBS stations in spring 2020.
“An award is only as good as the names on it,” Brooks said in a statement. “First off, for any musician, the name Gershwin says it all. Add to Ira’s and George’s names the names of the past recipients and you have an award of the highest honour. I am truly humbled.”
Since his debut in 1989, Brooks has become a top-selling and touring musical force, bringing his brand of high energy and emotional country music to stadiums and arenas.
He is the bestselling solo artist in the United States with more than 148 million in album sales, according to the Recording Industry Association of America, and is second only in total U.S. sales to The Beatles.
Born in Tulsa, Oklahoma, Brooks combined his love of classic country music and cowboy songs with production typically seen in rock and pop acts. Seven of his albums have sold more than 10 million copies in the United States alone, according to the RIAA.
In the early 2000s, he took a break from recording and touring to spend more time with his family. Brooks returned to major touring and recording in 2014 and remains one of country’s most popular touring acts. He is married to fellow country star Trisha Yearwood.