Monday, April 22, 2024

Garth Brooks Sends Out Weird Email About New Album, Gives Wrong Date of Sister’s Death


Garth Brooks is trying to tie the free streaming of his new album to the first anniversary of his sister’s death. He writes in an email to fans sent overnight that “we lost my sister Betsy on Halloween night.”  But his half sister, Betsy Smittle, died on November 2, 2013. I’m sure he means well, Garth is a nice guy, but what the heck is this all about?

Well, it’s about ghosts. Betsy is dead, and Garth has his own digital music service called Ghostunes. And on Halloween, for 24 hours, he’s streaming a preview of his new album on Ghostunes. He says a friend of his at Ghostunes suggested this. Maybe. But Brooks owns Ghostunes. He makes it seem like someone else does.

And Ghostunes is really wonky. It’s just kind of a mess. Trisha Yearwood’s new album is listed as having come out on September 20th. When I saw this, I panicked. Really? Did I miss it? No, “Prizefighter” will be released on November 17th. Not only that, on a list of “Garth’s favorite artists” Yearwood is only  number 10. She’s his wife! That can’t be a good thing.

Is Ghostunes ready for an onslaught of listeners tomorrow? I doubt it. I tried lots of things, from selecting to actually trying to buy  stuff. The site needs a squirt of WD 40, like the Tin Man.  And the selection of songs and albums is scattershot. They do have Taylor Swift’s new  album, “1989” for $11.99– a dollar less than iTunes– but you have to hunt for it.

As for Garth’s new album, it still has no title. Or release date. And it’s unclear if what’s streaming is little bits of songs with commentary, or the whole thing. The show begins at midnight tonight.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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