Garth Brooks has signed with Sony Music for a new album and also confirmed he has finally agreed to sell his recordings as digital downloads.
Brooks made the announcements Thursday (June 10) during a lengthy press conference near downtown Nashville.
The Country Music Hall of Fame member is recording new music to be promoted by Sony’s RCA Records imprint. The first single from an upcoming album is expected to be released later this month, and the album will likely arrive in November.
Brooks, who has never authorized the distribution of his music on iTunes or any other digital retailer, said the downloads “will begin in the next two or three weeks” at garthbrooks.com. He also said his website will be upgraded and expanded.
Noting that he may be accused of giving his classic recordings away by selling them “at a stupid price,” he said the decision to sell the downloads will benefit fans and songwriters alike.
“The people who waited should be rewarded,” he said.
Signed to Capitol Nashville, Brooks released his self-titled debut album in 1989. After parting company with Capitol in 2005, he allowed his music to be distributed exclusively through Walmart and Sam’s Club. Under the terms of his deal with Sony, his new album will be available at all retail outlets.
The press conference was attended by members of the Irish news media, and much of the discussion involved the cancellation of his upcoming five-night stand at Croke Park stadium in Dublin after the city council refused to grant a license for the final two performances because of objections from the community.
“It’s a day of joy,” Brooks said as the press conference began. “Not going to be lying to you. It’s also under a cloud right now.”
Brooks also announced details of his upcoming world tour will be revealed on July 14.
Expressing his excitement over his new deal with Sony, Brooks kept a sense of humor and perspective.
“Everybody loves everybody when you get started,” he said. “We’ll see in a year. I hope you don’t regret this. I hope I don’t. I think we’ll be all right.”