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Friday, 27 October, 2000, 11:31 GMT 12:31 UK
Country star confirms retirement
Garth Brooks
The country star will continue with less high profile work
Country singing star Garth Brooks has held a press conference to announce his retirement officially - but has denied immediate plans to divorce.

He told reporters in Nashville, Tennessee, before a gala to celebrate 100 million album sales, that he wanted to be a full-time father.

Brooks, 38, said in December last year that he would "probably" retire in 2000 to spend more time with his family.

"Today, I am starting a new life," Brooks said.

"I am here to announce my retirement - a thing I feel good about."

I have asked my wife to be father and mother long enough

Garth Brooks
But at the same time he implored reporters not to call his next record, due out next spring, his last.

He said he expected to write songs and hold individual concerts - but not blockbuster concert tours as in the past - to promote his next album.

At some point, he also may record a duet album with Trisha Yearwood and make a soundtrack album to accompany a film project from his production company in Los Angeles.

A series of network TV specials based on concerts may be filmed next summer to promote the new album.

This is not the first time Brooks has pulled back from performing. During the first half of 1992, he cancelled concerts to be with his family.

But he said this time he felt sure about the retirement decision because he had taken a year to think it over.

"If time changes it, I will beg your forgiveness and see how I'm accepted," he added.

Close to decision

Brooks denied that he and his wife Sandy had already agreed to divorce, despite having told Billboard magazine that the couple had decided to split.

"Sandy and I have not agreed to a divorce as the effect it will have on our children is weighing very heavy on our souls right now. But we are very close to a decision," he said.

In the event of a divorce he would always live where his children live, he said, "even if I'm lucky enough to find a new partner.

"My children and I are together every day, and every night I tuck those children in and I'm responsible for their safety and I feel good about that," he said.

"I have asked my wife to be father and mother long enough. It's time for me to accept my responsibilities."

The couple have been married for 14 years and have three daughters, aged eight, six and four.

Brooks is the top-selling solo country artist, according to the Recording Industry Association of America.

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See also:

08 Oct 00 | Entertainment
Garth Brooks announces divorce
15 Aug 00 | Entertainment
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16 Dec 99 | Entertainment
Country king Garth's 'retirement'
04 May 00 | Entertainment
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