Name: Troyal Garth Brooks
Born: February 7, 1962
Occupation: Country music artist
There’s no doubt about it, Troyal Garth Brooks, known to most just as Garth, is one of the most popular country music singers alive today. His mother was a country singer in the 50’s, recording under Capitol Records. His parents shared their love of music with the entire family, requiring all of the children to gather each week in their Oklahoma home to participate in a “talent night,” singing or performing. It was during these cherished family evenings that Garth learned to play the banjo and guitar.
Despite his family’s interest in music, Brooks initially spent a great deal of time focused on sports, especially in high school and college. Initially, Brooks was more interested in rock music, but after hearing the successful launch of George Strait’s 1981 single, he turned his interests back to country. He went to college and obtained a degree in advertising but then decided to pursue singing.
With the support of Rod Phelps, a prominent entertainment attorney, Brooks took his first trip to Nashville in 1985. He lasted 24 hours before he decided he was frustrated with the industry and went back to Oklahoma. Phelps persisted and eventually convinced Brooks to go back to Nashville. After years of hard work his first album released in 1989 to critical acclaim. While his first album peaked at number 2, his second spent 23 weeks at the top of Billboard’s charts – as number one on the country chart and at number three on the pop chart.
Garth married his girlfriend, Sandy Mahl, in 1986. The two remained married until their divorce in 2000 and Garth moved on to marry Trisha Yearwood in 2005. The $125 million settlement Brooks paid Mahl was considered one of the most expensive at the time. Despite that, Garth Brooks is now estimated to be worth $150 million today.
So how much is $150 million really?
Brooks spends a lot of time working with children’s charities. He founded Teammates for Kids Foundation, which is a charity that enlists sports players to donate set amounts of money based on their game performances. That money is then funneled to various charities supporting both famine relief and children. It seems fitting that Garth would continue to donate to charities. He regularly donates $500 thousand here or $1 million there, paying special attention to Habitat for Humanity, the Jimmy & Rosalynn Carter Work Project, and special projects after natural disasters.
Of course, if he weren’t so busy with those charities, it would be pretty cool if he started some urban music programs. The average music program seems to cost around $187 per student each year. Imagine how many school programs could be saved!