Garth Brooks was named the first inductee to the just-announced Live Hall of Fame Thursday (Feb. 8) at a keynote Q&A session at Pollstar Live! in Los Angeles.

The Live Hall of Fame was created as a place to honor artists who have made a huge impact on the live business, and Brooks' honor follows his record-setting, three-year tour in which he sold over 6.3 million tickets—making it the biggest North American tour, and biggest ever by a solo artist.

“It’s a total shock and quite an honor,” Brooks said, upon accepting the award. He also thanked his  co-manager Bob Doyle, and Ben Farrell his longtime promoter. “I don’t think an entertainer is anything without other people who allow him to do this."

Factors noted that contribute to Brooks' success include his unique and innovative approach to touring, which employs such practices as keeping tickets at one affordable price and adding shows from the road.

“Ticketmaster’s worked with Garth for over 20 years and it’s been a phenomenal partnership,” Ticketmaster President Jared Smith told Pollstar. “He’s always working on new and better ways to ensure tickets get into the hands of fans, and makes an effort so that all fans get a chance to see him.”

Brooks, who returned to the road after a 13-year absence, is also the first artist to receive seven RIAA Diamond awards for albums sales of over 10 million per album. He holds the title of number-one selling U.S. solo artist, with more than 148 million albums sold overall.

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