Garth Brooks is once again doing what Garth Brooks does — making history, and this time he’s done it on Elvis Presley’s birthday.
Brooks’ becomes the first guest in the 62-year history of NBC’s “Today” show to appear during all four hours of the broadcast, joining the show today to tout his new “Man Against Machine” album on the eve of launching a week of concerts in his native Oklahoma.
Having formally ended his self-imposed retirement after 17 years away from the concert trail while he raised his three daughters until all were ready for college, Brooks is in full swing after starting his current world tour in Chicago in September.
Brooks holds a number of records in terms of record and concert ticket sales, and he’s been neck and neck with Presley for more than a decade for the title of bestselling solo artist of all time. In 2000, Brooks surpassed Presley on the Recording Industry Assn. of America’s calculation for the crown of top-selling solo act—both still falling short of the Beatles as the overall sales champs.
Presley subsequently reclaimed that title, slipping back in front of Brooks with certified sales of 134.5-million albums, to Brooks’ current total of 134 million. (The Beatles have sold 178-million albums in the U.S., according to the RIAA.)
Along with Brooks’ appearance on “Today,” show anchor Savannah Guthrie interviewed Presley’s widow, Priscilla, about the anniversary. She said that had he lived, she expected he would have “probably [gone] more into gospel music because that’s really what he always played and loved to be around.”
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