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Garth Brooks


Nobody can deny that Garth Brooks changed the face of country music. Some believe he made country more accessible to Top-40 radio listeners by "updating" it, yet many music purists maintain that he simply bastardized country music by dumbing it down enough to cater to the simple tastes of the lowest common denominator of music consumers. Either way, Brooks jumps from his rope-swinging antics of flashy New Country songs to catchy Country Pop disguised as New Traditional country songs. His 1991 album Ropin' The Wind was the very first country album to debut at the top of the pop music charts -- one year after his No Fences went on a mad climb that eventually sold 13 million copies (and counting). Growing up with KISS records next to Merle Haggard LPs in his collection, Brooks was the first to blend the seemingly disparate genres of arena rock and Honky-Tonk. His commercialized vision let country music make sense to a lot of people who once ignored the genre, and it wasn't long before Wall Street investors in suits and ten-gallon Stetsons were among the thousands attending Brooks' concerts in Central Park.
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