Twenty-one years ago today (Jan. 17, 2000), Garth Brooks kicked off the new millennium on a high note: It was on that date that the singer was named the Artist of the Decade for the 1990s at the American Music Awards, proving that his star power crossed all genres.
“I’d like to dedicate this award to my mom and to my dad. I love you guys very much,” Brooks said from stage, as the cameras showed a picture of his emotional father, clutching a picture of Brooks’ mother. “Dad’s out in the audience tonight. Mom’s up in Heaven.
“And I want to say, to my wife Sandy: It’s no mystery that our future, we don’t know what’s going to happen,” he continued, “but you can’t deny that the last decade is because of God and you. Thank you.”
Brooks and his wife were separated when the awards ceremony occurred. They filed for divorce later that year.
At the time of his Artist of the Decade win, Brooks had sold more than 95 million albums, more than any other American recording artist. He released six records in the 1990s, each of which soared to the top of the charts; he also notched 17 No. 1 hits, including “The Dance” and “Friends in Low Places.”
Brooks won 11 CMA Awards during the ’90s, including four Entertainer of the Year trophies. In addition, the Oklahoma native won 18 ACM Awards during the decade, and was named the Artist of the Decade in 1998 by the Academy of Country Music, for his numerous accomplishments.
Brooks also took home two more awards during the 2000 American Music Awards ceremony, Favorite Male Country Artist and Favorite Country Album, the latter for Sevens.
This story was originally written by Gayle Thompson, and revised by Annie Zaleski.
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