It’s been 17 years since Garth Brooks went on a live concert tour that took him to the Metroplex. Well, that drought ends on Sept. 18 and 19, when he will appear at American Airlines Center for two concerts.
If you’re not a country music fan, you might not fully grasp how significant this is. Brooks was a sensation in the 1990s, the biggest country star — and one of the biggest crossover musicians — in history. He was a hit-maker, releasing about a dozen albums (including studio, live and compilation) in less than 10 years. And he scored 13 — 13! — Top 10 singles in a row, including 12 Top 5. And what is significant about that 14th release? It only hit the Top 20, peaking at 12 — still a hit, but not a runaway. The song was called “We Shall Be Free,” and it shocked conservative shit-kickin’, boot-scootin’ country fans at the time. Not only did it promote liberal values (i.e., American values, like freedom of religion and speech), but it also contained the following lyric: When we’re free to love anyone we choose / when this world’s big enough for all different views …
Ummm … did Garth Brooks, the biggest music star in history, just come out — in 1992! — in favor of … gay rights?!??
You’re damn right, he did.
Brooks’ sister is openly lesbian, and he may be a country-boy, but he ain’t no bigot. Brooks won over a lot of gay fans with that one … and he paid a price.
For more than a decade, he’s cooled it, rearing children with wife Tricia Yearwood. But he’s back, and he was right: As of now, we all are free to love — to marry — anyone we choose.
I’ll be there. (You can too, starting at 10 a.m. July 24. Click here.)
Below is a performance of the song recorded in Houston last month — just two days after marriage equality.