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Garth 'mourns' cancelled Irish gigs

Garth Brooks

Garth Brooks has said he is still mourning his Croke Park concerts and compared the cancellation of the five gigs to losing a member of his family.

Brooks (52) was scheduled to play five consecutive sold-out dates at Croke Park last summer.

However, following complaints from local residents, Dublin City Council ruled that the country star could play only three concerts.

The saga became an all-or-nothing stand-off that reached the Taoiseach's office and made international headlines.

In the end, Brooks pulled out, leaving 400,000 fans disappointed.

"I'm not trying to be dramatic, but my wife would sit here and tell you, 'I've never seen him ache like that for anything other than loss of family'," he said.

"I mourned that and I still am, to tell the truth. Hurts like hell."

During an interview with the Daily Telegraph, Brooks was reported to have been teary-eyed when talking about the concerts.

He shook his head when asked about Croke Park, indicating that he could not reveal the real story of why the gigs were called off.


However, he did say Ireland is still one of his favourite places to play.

"It was always the place where you couldn't start a song, two words and it's gone, they're taking over, but that's the way music should be," said Brooks.

"When you hear them singing your stuff in Croke Park, it's like heaven."

While any hope of resurrecting the Irish gigs is long gone, Brooks is experiencing huge success in the States.

His current comeback tour - which was supposed to kick-off in Dublin - has been a sell-out smash hit across the US, where he is playing city runs of two shows a night.

The tour is on course to be the highest-grossing ever.

Brooks is currently the biggest living star in America, with 154 million albums sold so far. He is also the only solo recording artist to have sold more albums in the US than Elvis Presley.

Judging by current sales figures, Brooks is more popular in the US than Michael Jackson, Madonna, Bruce Springsteen, Frank Sinatra and Eminem.