Country superstar Garth Brooks has been unveiled as the first honouree to be inducted into the new Live Hall of Fame.
The announcement was made on Thursday (08Feb18) as Brooks attended a question and answer session at Pollstar Live! in Los Angeles, and he was blown away by the big surprise.
"It's a total shock and quite an honour," the Friends In Low Places hitmaker said after learning of the news.
He went on to give thanks to his co-manager Bob Doyle and his longtime promoter, Ben Farrell, adding, "I don't think an entertainer is anything without other people who allow him to do this."
Brooks recently wrapped the final stretch of his record-breaking three-year comeback tour, selling over 6.3 million tickets to make it the biggest ever North American tour by a solo artist.
The newly-establish Live Hall of Fame is designed to "honour artists who have made a huge impact on the live business", according to co-founder Tim Leiweke, the CEO of live entertainment firm Oak View Group, the parent company of the Pollstar publication.
"The Recording Academy has the Grammys, the movie business has the Academy Awards, but we in live (music) don't do enough to honour the artists who have changed our industry - the artists who have gone out and touched tens of millions of fans. So we are creating a new tradition here at Pollstar that is vitally important for our industry and a priority for us going forward and that is a Live Music Hall of Fame."
And Leiweke admits choosing Brooks as the inaugural inductee was a no-brainer: "In discussing it with all of our folks, there was only person who we thought ultimately had to be the first inducted into the Live Music Hall of Fame and that was Garth Brooks," he adds.