A talented and charismatic artist who helped to break barriers between pop and country music, Garth Brooks became one of the biggest recording artists of all time. Brooks made his mark in the music industry with his self-titled debut album (1989) that spawned the hit singles "The Dance" and "If Tomorrow Never Comes." His folk-rock inspired tunes - blending influences from Merle Haggard to James Taylor - and remarkably energetic live performances set Brooks apart from other country artists at the time. His phenomenally successful sophomore release No Fences (1990) included Brooks' trademark anthem "Friends in Low Places," while his third album Ropin' the Wind (1991) put him in the history books as the first country artist to land at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 200 and Country Album charts. Brooks hit a minor creative bump with the critically panned concept album Garth Brooks in the life of Chris Gaines (1999) where the singer took on a rock alter ego. Amidst his meteoric rise to fame, countless awards, and a secret affair (and eventual marriage) with country singer Trisha Yearwood, Brooks proclaimed family as his top priority and announced his retirement at the peak of his career. He made his triumphant return to music in 2009 with a series of concerts at the Encore resort in Las Vegas, where Brooks performed a cavalcade of hits that confirmed him as a definitive and iconic figure in country music. His 2014 comeback album Man Against Machine was a critical and commercial success, reasserting his stature as one of country music's all-time greats.