At long last, Brooks goes with the stream

Baltimore Sun - - ENTERTAINMENT - — As­so­ci­ated Press

A week after launch­ing its paid stream­ing mu­sic ser­vice, Ama­zon an­nounced a deal with one of stream­ing mu­sic’s big­gest hold­outs: coun­try mu­sic su­per­star Garth Brooks. Brooks, the best-sell­ing solo artist in U.S. history with 138 mil­lion al­bums sold, has kept his mu­sic off stream­ing ser­vices. But now se­lect al­bums and songs are avail­able on Ama­zon Mu­sic Un­lim­ited. His al­bums, pre­vi­ously avail­able only through his GhostTunes ser­vice, will be sold dig­i­tally via Ama­zon Mu­sic.

Brooks said he waited un­til the right part­ner came along be­fore he was ready to dive into stream­ing.

“I love re­tail to death, but re­tail will never tell me what my stuff is worth and will never tell me how to sell it,” Brooks said in a tele­phone in­ter­view from Los An­ge­les. “That’s the tail wag­ging the dog for me.”

Brooks en­tered semire­tire­ment in 2000 near the height of his pop­u­lar­ity to spend more time with his chil­dren and wife, Tr­isha Year­wood. In 2014, he re­turned with a ma­jor tour and a new al­bum, “Man Against Ma­chine.”

His up­com­ing al­bums, “Gun­slinger” and “Christ­mas To­gether” with Year­wood, will be added to the stream­ing ser­vice later this year. Two of his best­selling al­bums, “Ul­ti­mate Hits” and “Dou­ble Live,” will be avail­able for stream­ing. They in­clude his pop­u­lar hits “Friends in Low Places,” “The Dance” and “The Thun­der Rolls.”

AR­MANDO L. SANCHEZ/CHICAGO TRI­BUNE 2014

Garth Brooks, who once shunned stream­ing mu­sic ser­vices, has a deal with Ama­zon Mu­sic Un­lim­ited.

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