December 1, 2007 11:53 AM PST
PAM KRAGENStaff Writer
North County Times
LOS ANGELES ----- Tickets go on sale at 9 a.m. today for a concert by country superstar Garth Brooks at the Staples Center next month that will raise money for fire victims and firefighters in San Diego, L.A. and Orange counties.
Brooks, who emerged last month from a nine-year retirement to perform a series of charity concerts, will donate 100 percent of the proceeds from the Jan. 26 Staples Center show to the Southern California 2008 Fire Relief Campaign. Brooks is performing without pay and AEG Live is donating the use of Staples Center to maximize the proceeds to the wildfire relief campaign. Other sponsors ---- American Express, the Los Angeles Times and the McCormick Tribune Foundation (which is administering the Fire Relief Campaign) ---- are joining forces to raise an additional $2 million or more for the cause.
"Garth was extremely aware of what our region has had to endure and was on-board the very moment our city and state leaders requested that he perform," said Tim Leiweke, president of AEG, in a prepared statement.
In San Diego, where more than 1,000 homes were destroyed by wildfires in October, Mayor Jerry Sanders expressed his gratitude to Brooks.
"To have a star of Mr. Brooks' stature dedicate his talent and time to help raise funds for those who lost their homes and to better equip our brave firefighters is truly uplifting," Sanders said in a statement.
Brooks is the No. 1 solo artist in U.S. history, having sold more than 123 million albums, according to the Recording Industry Association of America. During his career in the 1990s, he racked up two Grammys, 17 American Music Awards, 11 Country Music Association Awards, 18 Academy of Country Music Awards and 36 Billboard Music Awards, among others. Citing family concerns in the wake of a highly publicized divorce, Brooks retired from touring in 1998 to focus on raising his three daughters in rural Oklahoma. Since then, Brooks --- who married fellow country singer Trisha Yearwood in 2005 --- has re-emerged only to perform periodic concerts for charity. Last month, he performed nine concerts in Kansas City that sold out in a matter of minutes, so the L.A. concert tickets are expected to disappear even quicker.
Tickets to the L.A. concert are $38.60 each, plus $6.40 in taxes and handling fees. A maximum of six tickets will be available per person. Tickets will be sold through all Ticketmaster outlets. Locally, Ticketmaster can be reached by calling (619) 220-8497 or visit www.ticketmaster.com.