Garth Brooks in Semi-Retirement

ByABC News

N A S H V I L L E, Tenn. Oct. 27, 2000 -- Citing family and career concerns, country music star Garth Brooks said Thursday he plans to retireafter releasing and promoting one more album.

“I’m here to announce my retirement,” Brooks said at a newsconference before a gala to celebrate 100 million album sales.

At the black-tie event, more than 2,000 guests who played somepart in Brooks’ career gathered to pay tribute to Brooks. The galaat Gaylord Entertainment Center included friends, record executivesand fellow artists.

“His charisma is undeniable,” said singer Martina McBride, whoonce sold T-shirts for Brooks on the road. “He — we all think —changed the face of country music.”

No Aging RockerBrooks said earlier at the news conference that he never saw hissinging career as a lifelong proposition.

“I’ve done my career with the old saying, ‘Burn bright, burnfast,’” he said. “I wasn’t going to be somebody that we couldcome to really appreciate, like Billy Joel and James Taylor, andknow that their stuff was timeless.”

Brooks, 38, said he didn’t want the new album, scheduled forrelease next summer, to be tagged a “farewell” project. At somepoint, he also may record a duet album with Trisha Yearwood andmake a soundtrack album to accompany a film project from hisproduction company in Los Angeles.

He said he wouldn’t consider touring again until his youngestdaughter, Allie, 4, goes to college, but may play some shows. Aseries of network TV specials based on concerts may be filmed nextsummer to promote the new album.

Naptime ScreenplaysBut career concerns will be second fiddle to his children fromnow on, Brooks said. He and wife, Sandy, are considering a divorce,but haven’t made a final decision because of their three daughters.

“My children and I are together every day,” Brooks said. “Andevery night I tuck those children in, and I’m responsible for theirsafety. I feel good about that. I have asked my wife to be fatherand mother long enough. It’s time for me to accept myresponsibilities, and accept the true rewards that come with beinga father.”

He recently attended his 8-year-old daughter Taylor’s firstsoccer game, which brought him to tears. “I realized that in thatone game, I had more fun than all 10 years of touring.”

Brooks hopes to write screenplays when not taking care of hischildren. He felt sure about the retirement decision because he hadtaken a year to think it over.

“If time changes it, I will beg your forgiveness and see howI’m accepted.”

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