Four years after becoming the 1976 World Champion Bareback Rider, rodeo champion Chris LeDoux embarked upon a prolific country music career, first creating a buzz on the rodeo circuit with his rich narratives of bronco-busting life and heartbreaking tribulations. In the beginning, he wound up independently selling quite a lot of homespun cassette tapes of his new traditional, real-life, cowboy music from the back of his truck in various rodeo parking lots. He built a loyal following this way, but it wasn't until 10 years later that Garth Brooks dropped LeDoux's name in the hit song "Much Too Young (To Be This Damn Old)" when he started to gain recognition for his own music. After signing to Capitol Records Nashville in 1990, LeDoux gained national prominence via repeated airplay and extensive touring (he recorded and released a total of 15 albums for Capitol during his tenure on that label). A 1992 collaboration and subsequent tour with Garth Brooks brought him to the forefront of the industry, where his updated cowboy music and new country hits featured gritty, soulful vocals and state-of-the-art, radio-friendly backing. On March 9, 2005, LeDoux passed away in Casper, Wyo., from complications stemming from ongoing cancer treatments. He was just 56 years old, and had recorded over 20 albums and sold close to six million.