Garth Brooks announces his own SiriusXM channel, preps for Yankee stadium

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Garth Brooks Is Back On The Radio 24-7

One the eve of a headline-making concert booking at New York's Yankee Stadium, Garth Brooks has announced a new partnership with SiriusXM, putting him at the helm of his own 24-7 music station, The Garth Channel. Launching Sept. 8, The Garth Channel will feature not just music from the country superstar, but tunes from the artists that influenced him as well.

Brooks tells Billboard those influences aren't just the legends, but also younger stars who came along after Brooks and make what he calls "feel-good music." He cites as examples pop stars Justin Timberlake, Bruno Mars, Lady Gaga and Katy Perry, as well as country stars Kenny Chesney and Joe Nichols. The channel's programming, he says, will also feature some up-and-coming singer-songwriters who have yet to land record deals, including Brooks' current tour mate Karyn Rochelle. As for his own material, Brooks says they'll be able to showcase not just his hits and the new music still in the pipeline, but also material from "the vault," like rarely heard live recordings from Brooks' past appearances on shows like Austin City Limits and VH1's Storytellers.

For the music-loving star, the new channel feels like a grown-up toy. "The potential is infinite... The channel is going to be growing as it goes -- I don't want to start out 110 percent. I want to start out focusing just on the music, finding out what the right balance of music is, and then start introducing other stuff, like the music that you won't hear anywhere else."

Radio veteran and former Big Machine Label Group promotion executive Mandy McCormack is expected to play a key role in programming the channel. She has worked directly for Brooks and wife Trisha Yearwood since early 2015.

Brooks will be curating and presenting much of the programming himself, a task made easier by equipment SiriusXM has installed in his home, as well as interviews being conducted by Sirius XM senior director of music programming Lou Simon during some of Brooks' tour stops. Brooks and Yearwood are currently at the halfway mark of a three-year tour, and Brooks expects to get even more hands-on with the channel once that tour finally wraps.

Meanwhile, Brooks is gearing up for his July 8 and 9 shows at Yankee Stadium, and can barely contain his excitement over the gigs, and the massive stage that will take over the outfield. Like his 1997 show in New York's Central Park that became an HBO special, these shows are also being filmed for a potential future broadcast.

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NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 17: ASCAP Award recipient, singer-songwriter Garth Brooks performs during the ASCAP Centennial Awards at The Waldorf Astoria on November 17, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Mike Pont/FilmMagic)
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 17: ASCAP Award recipient, singer-songwriter Garth Brooks (R) and wife, singer Trisha Yearwood attend the ASCAP Centennial Awards at The Waldorf Astoria on November 17, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Mike Pont/FilmMagic)
NASHVILLE, TN - NOVEMBER 05: Trisha Yearwood and Garth Brooks attend the 48th annual CMA Awards at the Bridgestone Arena on November 5, 2014 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Jon Kopaloff/FilmMagic)
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 07: Singer Garth Brooks enters the 'Good Morning America' taping at the ABC Times Square Studios on November 7, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Ray Tamarra/GC Images)
NASHVILLE, TN - NOVEMBER 05: Garth Brooks speaks onstage during the 48th annual CMA Awards at the Bridgestone Arena on November 5, 2014 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Rick Diamond/Getty Images)
NASHVILLE, TN - NOVEMBER 05: Garth Brooks presents Luke Bryan with the award for Entertainer of the Year ontsage durring the 48th annual CMA Awards at the Bridgestone Arena on November 5, 2014 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Rick Diamond/Getty Images)
NASHVILLE, TN - NOVEMBER 05: Garth Brooks presents during the 48th annual CMA awards at the Bridgestone Arena on November 5, 2014 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Jason Davis/WireImage)
NASHVILLE, TN - NOVEMBER 05: Trisha Yearwood and Garth Brooks attend the 48th annual CMA Awards at the Bridgestone Arena on November 5, 2014 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Larry Busacca/Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NV - APRIL 06: Recording artists Dustin Lynch (L) and Garth Brooks attend the 49th Annual Academy of Country Music Awards at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on April 6, 2014 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/ACMA2014/Getty Images for ACM)
ATLANTA, GA - SEPTEMBER 19: Garth Brooks performs at Philips Arena on September 19, 2014 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by CatMax Photography/WireImage)
ATLANTA, GA - SEPTEMBER 19: Garth Brooks performs at Philips Arena on September 19, 2014 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Marcus Ingram/Getty Images)
ATLANTA, GA - SEPTEMBER 19: Garth Brooks attends a press conference at Children's Healthcare of Atlanta at Scottish Rite on September 19, 2014 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Chris McKay/Getty Images)
ROSEMONT, IL - SEPTEMBER 05: Garth Brooks performs on stage at Allstate Arena on September 5, 2014 in Rosemont, United States. (Photo by Daniel Boczarski/Redferns via Getty Images)
ROSEMONT, IL - SEPTEMBER 05: Garth Brooks performs on stage at Allstate Arena on September 5, 2014 in Rosemont, United States. (Photo by Daniel Boczarski/Redferns via Getty Images)
ROSEMONT, IL- SEPTEMBER 04: Garth Brooks talks to the media during his World Tour Press Conference on September 4, 2014 at Allstate Arena in Rosemont, Illinois. (Photo by David Banks/Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NV - APRIL 06: (L-R) Musicians Tim McGraw, George Strait and Garth Brooks attend the 49th Annual Academy of Country Music Awards at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on April 6, 2014 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Rick Diamond/ACMA2014/Getty Images for ACM)
LAS VEGAS, NV - APRIL 06: Singer/songwriter Merle Haggard (R) accepts the ACM Crystal Milestone Award from (L-R) Recording artists Garth Brooks, Miranda Lambert and George Strait onstage during the 49th Annual Academy of Country Music Awards at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on April 6, 2014 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
THE TONIGHT SHOW WITH JAY LENO -- Episode 4610 -- Pictured: Musical guest Garth Brooks performs on February 6, 2014 -- (Photo by: Chris Haston/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES - DECEMBER 9: Country music star Garth Brooks sits down with the hosts of THE TALK, Monday, Dec. 9, 2013 on the CBS Television Network. From left, Garth Brooks and Sharon Osbourne, shown. (Photo by Heather Wines/CBS via Getty Images)
GOOD MORNING AMERICA - Garth Brooks announced his upcoming tour, on GOOD MORNING AMERICA, 12/9/13, airing on the ABC Television Network. (Photo by Ida Mae Astute/ABC via Getty Images) GARTH BROOKS
UNIVERSAL CITY, CA - NOVEMBER 27: Garth Brooks visits 'Extra' at Universal Studios Hollywood on November 27, 2013 in Universal City, California. (Photo by Noel Vasquez/Getty Images)
THE TONIGHT SHOW WITH JAY LENO -- Episode 4576 -- Pictured: (l-r) Country singer Garth Brooks during an interview with host Jay Leno on November 27, 2013 -- (Photo by: Paul Drinkwater/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NV - APRIL 06: (L-R) Recording artists Garth Brooks, Miranda Lambert and George Strait speak onstage during the 49th Annual Academy of Country Music Awards at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on April 6, 2014 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
NASHVILLE, TN - NOVEMBER 22: (Exclusive Coverage) Trisha Yearwood, Styx's Tommy Shaw, Jeanne Mason, and Garth Brooks attend Playin' Possum! The Final No Show Tribute To George Jones at Bridgestone Arena on November 22, 2013 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Rick Diamond/NJ/Getty Images for Webster PR)
NASHVILLE, TN - NOVEMBER 22: Trisha Yearwood and Garth Brooks perform during Playin' Possum! The Final No Show Tribute To George Jones - Show at Bridgestone Arena on November 22, 2013 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Terry Wyatt/Getty Images)
FILE - In this Nov. 17, 2014 file photo, Garth Brooks performs the 2014 ASCAP Centennial Awards, benefiting the ASCAP Foundation and its music education, talent development and humanitarian activities, at the Waldorf-Astoria in New York. Brooks has canceled a Thanksgiving appearance on NBC's "Tonight" show because he said it "seemed distasteful" given the reaction to the decision not to prosecute Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson for the shooting of Michael Brown this summer. NBC on Wednesday, Nov. 26, confirmed the postponement, saying Brooks was being replaced on the show by Whoopi Goldberg and Tom Colicchio. (Photo by Stephen Chernin/Invision/AP, File)
Garth Brooks performs during the 30th annual Academy of Country Music Awards, Wednesday, May 10, 1995 in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Lois Bernstein)
Country star Garth Brooks, shown in this 1995 photo, is looking for two band members to replace guitarist Ty England and the country star's own sister, bassist Betsy Brooks, who have now gone solo. Brooks, with his new album out next week and booked for a U.S. tour, said ``The two faces that are probably most known to people, Ty and Betsy, are lost, so it'll be tough.'' Brooks said he told both they can rejoin the band any time. (AP Photo)
American Music Awards executive producer Dick Clark, right, chats with country music singer Garth Brooks following a rehearsal of Brooks' performance for Monday night's awards telecast, Saturday, Jan. 27, 1996, at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles. In addition to performing, Brooks has been nominated for three awards. (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello)
Garth Brooks performs at the 31st Annual Academy of Country Music Awards, Wednesday, April 24, 1996 in Universal City, Calif. (AP Photo/Susan Sterner)
Country and Western singer/songwriter Garth Brooks smiles as he listens to New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani talk about Brooks' upcoming free Central Park concert during a news conference, Tuesday, Aug. 5, 1997 at City Hall in New York. Brooks is scheduled to give a free concert in New York's Central Park Thursday, Aug. 7, 1997. The concert will also be televised live on HBO for those who can't make it. Brooks has sold more albums than any other solo artist in U.S. history. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)
Presenter Garth Brooks, left, poses with Pioneer Award winner Charlie Daniels at the 33rd annual Academy of Country Music Awards, Wednesday, April 22, 1998, in Universal City, Calif. (AP Photo/Reed Saxon)
Garth Brooks points to George Strait and says "You're the man" while accepting his award for Entertainer of the Year at the 33rd annual Academy of Country Music Awards, Wednesday, April 22, 1998, in Universal City, Calif. (AP Photo/Kevork Djansezian)
Garth Brooks performs at the WB Radio Music Awards at the Mandalay Bay Resort in Las Vegas on Thursday, Oct. 28, 1999. (AP Photo/Laura Rauch)
Country singer Trisha Yearwood teams up with fellow country singer Garth Brooks during a surprise appearance in Los Angeles June 12, 1998. Brooks was entertaining at the Radio & Records Convention 98 when Yearwood joined him on stage. (AP Photo/R&R)
Elizabeth Dole, president of the American Red Cross and country music singer Garth Brooks talk Thursday April 30, 1998 in Washington where a 50th anniversary of Red Cross blood services was celebrated. Brooks was one of the guests at the event. (AP Photo/Kue Bui)
Garth Brooks performs at the Country Music Association (CMA) awards in Nashville, Tenn., Sept. 29, 1993. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)
Nominee Trisha Yearwood, left, arrives with husband Garth Brooks for the 48th Annual Grammy Awards on Wednesday, Feb. 8, 2006, at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)
Country music singer/songwriters Garth Brooks, left, and Trisha Yearwood greet fans at the Country Music Hall of Fame in Nashville, Tenn., Sunday, May 1, 2005. (AP Photo/Neil Brake)
Grand Ole Opry host Steve Wariner, left, sings "Long Neck Bottle" with Garth Brooks on stage of the Grand Ole Opry during The Grand Ole Opry's 80th birthday celebration in Nashville, Tenn., on Saturday, Oct. 15, 2005. (AP Photo/John Russell)
Country music artist Garth Brooks performs during a concert at the Sprint Center in Kansas City, Mo. Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2007 in Kansas City, Mo. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)
Garth Brooks sings the National Anthem as actress Marlee Matlin signs prior to the start of Super Bowl XXVII, Sunday, Jan. 31, 1993 in Pasadena, Calif. (AP Photo/Rusty Kennedy)
Country music entertainers Garth Brooks and Trisha Yearwood wait on the sideline before the start of the World Football Challenge soccer match between Chelsea FC and Club America at Cowboys Stadium, Sunday, July 26, 2009, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/Mike Stone)
Garth Brooks joins Loretta Lynn in a song as the Grammy Salute To Country Music honors Loretta Lynn on Tuesday, Oct. 12, 2010, in Nashville, Tenn. Lynn was presented the President's Merit Award during the tribute. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)
FILE - In this Jan. 25, 2008 file photo, country singer Garth Brooks performs during a charity concert in Los Angeles, to benefit the Southern California 2008 Fire Intervention Relief Effort (F.I.R.E). Brooks is going to be very busy in December. Brooks sold more than 140,000 tickets Saturday morning, Nov. 6, 2010, and his benefit concert for Nashville, Tenn., flood relief ballooned from one show to nine. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill, File)
Inductee Garth Brooks and wife Trisha Yearwood arrives at the 42nd Annual Songwriters Hall of Fame Awards in New York, Thursday, June 16, 2011. (AP Photo/Charles Sykes)
Inductee Garth Brooks and wife Trisha Yearwood arrive at the 42nd Annual Songwriters Hall of Fame Awards in New York, Thursday, June 16, 2011. (AP Photo/Charles Sykes)
Garth Brooks pauses to compose himself as he thanks the crowd Tuesday, March 6, 2012, during the announcement that he will be inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in Nashville, Tenn. Brooks, Connie Smith, and Hargus "Pig" Robbins will become the newest members. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)
Garth Brooks, left, and Connie Smith, second from right, listen during the announcement on Tuesday, March 6, 2012, that Brooks and Smith will be inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in Nashville, Tenn. Brooks, Smith, and Hargus "Pig" Robbins will become the newest members. With Brooks is his wife, singer Trisha Yearwood, and with Smith is her husband, singer Marty Stuart. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)
Garth Brooks and Trisha Yearwood arrive for the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame inductions on Sunday, Oct. 7, 2012, in Nashville, Tenn. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)
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Brooks, who has been rehearsing his band and crew hard for the shows -- most recently in an empty Las Vegas casino ballroom -- is trying to keep his emotions under control. "I just want to have fun, let it loose, and just get to do my thing," he says. "If I think the other way, I'll get too nervous and the show will be just totally the opposite of what I want it to be. I just want to be really relaxed, go out there and know that I'm among people that love the music, which makes them my family, and just have fun."

Brooks has become accustomed to great crowds on his tour. "Every night people come in after the show and say, 'I've never seen a crowd like that' and I go 'Thank God, I get to see that every night,'" he says. "They've just got the greatest attitudes. They come to sing and have fun, and that makes me feel more than good."

Back home in Nashville, Brooks and Yearwood recently completed their first-ever duets project, a Christmas album set for release this year that will feature a mix of holiday standards and new material, and tracks that range from "big band sounds" to "some very acoustic stuff." The album, he says, was recorded with "a ton of joy [and] a lot of laughing."

He is also halfway through recording a new solo studio album, which has been worked on at a slower pace while his longtime studio bassist, Mike Chapman, battled the cancer that took his life June 13. Brooks calls Chapman "the heart and soul of the studio group. We've kind of moved at a pace that aligned with that battle, so when he was feeling good we would record and when he wasn't, we wouldn't," he explains. "Now that chapter has closed. What a valiant warrior. We honor him, and then try and move on somehow without that sound. This back half [of the album] will be really interesting to see how it changes without him."

In related news, Brooks has signed with Nashville-based The GreenRoom to augment his publicity efforts. The GreenRoom staff will work closely with Brooks' team, including his longtime publicist Nancy Seltzer of Los Angeles-based firm Nancy Seltzer & Associates. The GreenRoom's other country star clients include Jason Aldean, Dierks Bentley, Lady Antebellum, Rascal Flatts and many others.

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