Country music star Garth Brooks has said that Ireland is his favourite country to perform.
The American was talking to BBC Ulster’s Talkback. He told presenter Wendy Austin: “No matter where I am in the world, when I am asked what place I like to sing, I say Ireland. It is just phenomenal.”
Tickets for Brooks’ three shows at Croke Park sold out within hours. He’s now added a fourth show to meet the demand.
Brooks’ last appearance in Ireland is well remembered by all who were there, he even entered the stage on a zip wire.
He hasn’t sang in Ireland since that performance in Dublin 17 years ago, although he has been retired for the last 13 of those years.
During that time he has dedicated his life to raising his family. He said: “Thanks to you guys and thanks to God, financially, I was allowed the luxury of getting to stop what makes my living and raise my babies.”
Now Brooks’ children have all grown up he is ready to get back on the road and pick up where he left off. His time out of the limelight has done nothing to diminish his popularity, his concerts at Croke Park, Dublin sold out in just two hours.
Brooks said: “I cannot tell you how excited I am. You start the show on empty and you fill up as you go. What those people bring you, you couldn’t get anywhere else. It is the greatest feeling, next to being handed your own child.”
Fans of Brooks spent days camping outside music shops to buy tickets for his shows. Over 200,000 tickets for his three concerts have been sold and he is looking at the possibility of adding a fourth date.