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The Year in Country 2017: After three years, Garth brings the first leg of his tour to a close

ABC/Image Group LA More than three years ago, in September of 2014, Garth Brooks kicked off his first post-retirement tour in the Chicago area. By October of 2017, more than six million fans had turned out to see Garth and wife Trisha Yearwood in the United States and Canada, making it the biggest North American tour in history, according to his rep.

In November, shortly before the CMA Awards, Garth announced he'd be wrapping up the tour -- at least, the North American portion of it -- with three weekends’ worth of shows at Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena.

Prior to the 51st Annual CMA Awards, the reigning five-time CMA Entertainer of the Year admitted he was oddly nervous going into the show.  He recalled that he hadn't expected to win in 2016, but since he did, he felt that he had a title to defend. While the always-humble Oklahoman wouldn't say he deserved the trophy, he insisted that his hard-working band and crew did -- and ultimately, the Country Music Association agreed.

Though 2017 was filled with constant touring for Garth, the now-six-time CMA Entertainer of the Year still managed some firsts. The first volume of this autobiography, The Anthology|Part 1:  The First Five Years, ranked as a bestseller on both the non-fiction and music charts, since it also includeed five CDs. Garth also managed to grab his first #1 song in a decade in December, as “Ask Me How I Know” rose to the top.  

So what’s next for country music’s ultimate showman?  Well, there'll be a live album, recorded during his final North American show, which took place December 23 in Nashville.  And Garth certainly isn’t done touring, as he prepares to focus on the “world” part of his World Tour. He’s already mentioned Ireland, the United Kingdom and Australia as places he’d like to play, while also hinting he’ll do some free shows along the way.  

In February, he’ll both open and close the iconic RodeoHouston, with two concerts that sold out in only 18 minutes. In April, he’s on the books to headline California’s Stagecoach Festival.

As for new music, Garth admits he’s already thinking about the follow-up to 2016’s Gunslinger, though he’s said this year will largely be about turning the tables and supporting his wife in whatever she chooses to do.

Both Garth and Trisha have confirmed that 2018 will likely be the year for a new album from the two-time CMA Female Vocalist of the Year, who hasn’t made a full studio album since 2007’s Heaven, Heartache and the Power of Love.

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