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Garth Brooks (1962- ), despite being a staggeringly popular recording artist and performer is a strangely polarizing figure. Brooks, the first country singer to release a multi-platinum album, took country bigger than anyone ever had before, and his radio-ready, pop-country crossover hits absolutely dominated the country charts through the early 1990s. This broad appeal, however, has brought Brooks plenty of detractors, mostly from the traditionalist or purist wing of the country-loving public. For them, Brooks's legendarily elaborate stage productions (dubbed "stadium" country) and slick crossover hits are symptomatic of a dilution of country's essence toward the end of the twentieth century.

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