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Garth Brooks Could Surpass Elvis Presley With Digital Music Sales

Garth Brooks
Ethan Miller, Getty Images

Garth Brooks is finally going digital in 2014, and now that he’s releasing music on a new format, the country legend could be poised to surpass music icon Elvis Presley in sales — maybe even the Beatles.

Until now, Brooks has boycotted digital sales, but recently he announced his intentions of selling tunes on his newly-redesigned website. USA Today says that if Brooks is able to sell one million copies of his 18-disc collection, he’ll surpass Presley.

Although the music isn’t available online yet, it will be very soon, and this feat seems highly likely. Brooks’ box set, ‘Blame It All on My Roots: Five Decades of Influences,’ sold nearly one million copies, and it was only sold at Walmart. Presley’s sales are recorded at 134.5 million sales, and Brooks is coming up close with 134 million.

The ‘Friends in Low Places’ singer may also pass the Beatles, who are recorded at 177 million. If the country icon’s upcoming album of new music does well, this is a definite possibility.

Brooks also has the advantage of being able to price the albums as he chooses.

“If he’s just reissuing his old albums, he can sell them for basically whatever he wants and still have them count toward a spot on the chart,” explains Billboard’s associate director of charts/sales Keith Caulfield.

The announcement that Brooks will release his music online was something fans were very pleased with. He also hinted that they may just want to purchase his catalog as soon as it becomes available, since it would be more cost-effective.

“People are going to mistake [what I'm doing] for giving it away, but I’m not,” he says. Brooks explains that he’ll let fans “get it all at a stupid price.”

Garth Brooks has been the top-selling artist in the USA since 1991, something that will only increase with digital sales. He may have even been that long before ’91, but that was the first year Nielsen SoundScan began tracking sales.

“It’s probably going to make a big, big splash,” David Bakula, Senior Vice President for Nielsen Entertainment (which operates SoundScan) assures. “The closer you get to free, the more you’ll probably have a bunch of people who weren’t really big fans and wouldn’t have gone out and bought a new album [think], ‘My gosh, for that price I can have the whole thing? Yeah.’”

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