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It took Steve Wynn’s considerable influence to bring Garth Brooks out of his nearly decade-long retirement. The most successful solo recording artist of all time, Brooks has sold over 100 million albums and helped make country music more popular with mainstream audiences through his integration of rock and pop elements into his international hits. The winner of 2 Grammys, 16 American Music Association Awards, and 11 Country Music Association Awards, Brooks retired on top of the music world in 2000 so he could spend more time with his family. He stayed retired for nearly a decade… until Steve Wynn came knocking.
Wynn, known for designing lavish resorts featuring top-tier Vegas entertainments asked Garth to come back to live performing at a series of special engagements. Brooks resisted at first, not wanting to spend time away from his three daughters, and he joked that Wynn couldn’t afford him. But the determined Wynn, who proved that you don’t build billion dollar resorts if you’re a person who takes no for an answer, gave Brooks an offer he couldn’t refuse… his own private plane that could shuttle him between his home in Oklahoma and Vegas. What started as a series of special engagements in 2009 has continued for a few weekends every month in what has become one of the hottest shows in Vegas. Even more impressively, the Vegas shows were not a precursor to Brooks fully coming out of retirement… the Wynn is basically the only place you’ll get to see Garth Brooks play live music, at least until his youngest daughter goes to college.
Brooks steps onstage in a theater that holds just over 1,000 people, alone with a guitar for a much more intimate performance than the energetic stadium shows he was known for before he stepped away from his wildly successful career. Sporting his trademark black cowboy hat, Brooks takes audiences on a journey through his life and career in a performance that feels more personal than a typical Las Vegas show. Wynn himself describes the shows as “the equivelent of being in his living room.”
Garth Brooks redefined country music with his crossover hits and Steve Wynn reshaped the Vegas skyline with the resorts he built. Now the two visionaries have come together to re-imagine and reinvigorate Vegas showmanship; while most headlining acts go for big-time glitz and glamor, Brooks and Wynn went the opposite direction. They took an event as momentous as the best selling recording artist of all time triumphantly emerging from nearly a decade of retirement and they toned down the hype, turning it into a stripped down, tasteful, personal and intimate evening of music and storytelling. With buzz praising the performances as “passionate” and “genius,” and fans traveling from all over the world to experience them, the Garth Brooks Las Vegas gamble has turned into a jackpot for everyone involved.