Ten reasons we still love Garth Brooks

5. We Shall (All) Be Free

After witnessing the 1992 riots in Los Angeles, Brooks co-wrote a motivational ditty called "We Shall Be Free," a tune that aspires to a world where "we're free to love anyone we choose," "the world's big enough for all different views," and "we can all worship from our own kind of pew." The song wasn't a huge hit but it earned Garth a GLAAD Media Award in 1993. Little known fact about Garth? His older sister Betsy, who backed him in his band during his early days as an artist, is a lesbian.

4. Another feel-good fact


Now didn't the GLAAD award make you feel good about Garth Brooks? Watch this video and feel even better. Aww-gawwww...

3. The Kiss Connection

Kiss fans (I'm always stunned they exist in such great numbers, but in any case) this factoid's for you: Garth considers Kiss to be one of his biggest influences. Yes, it's true. And in 1994, he paid tribute to the band on the hard rock compilation Kiss My Ass: Classic Kiss Regrooved, the only country singer to participate in the project. In effort to remain true to its original form, for his cover of the Peter Criss song "Hard Luck Woman" Brooks requested the band back him on the track, the only song on which they did so. Garth and Kiss then appeared on The Tonight Show to perform the song.

2. Garth's serious acting chops

He has them! Kind of! His acting career long preceded this whole Chris Gaines nonsense when he gave Reba a run for her money as reigning queen of "starring in your own music video," appearing as the smarmy, cheating husband in the video for "The Thunder Rolls."

1. Mr. Blue

It's near impossible to find videos of Garth Brooks singing any song online because he's got his product basically under lock and key. But on his 1990 album No Fences, Garth randomly threw a Western swingin' cover of this Fleetwoods hit on his B-side. And I used to listen to it on cassette tape while I'd rollerblade around my basement for hours and hours as a kid and it was awesome. Get yourself a tape, a Walkman and a pair of neon rollerblades, and dig it. 

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