Garth Brooks is, officially, out of retirement, and a world tour is in the works.

The country megastar and Owasso resident has signed a deal with Sony Music Entertainment to record a new album. The announcement was made during a highly-anticipated press conference from Nashville Thursday morning.

Doug Morris, CEO of Sony Music Entertainment made the announcement.

“When you have the opportunity to add one of the best-selling recording artists of all time to your roster, you just jump at it,” Morris said.

Brooks later came to the stage.

“Today I feel very lucky to be joining Sony Music,” Brooks said.

Feeling “old and scared” at the prospect of beginning the second half of his career, Brooks said the experience has been humbling.

“New music is on the way,” Brooks said. “I can’t tell you when, because truthfully we don’t know … my job at this point is just to create, have fun, record.”

Brooks said he will be recording again with many of the same engineers from his previous work. Plans for a forthcoming world tour – including the opening tour stop – will be announced in about mid July.

Brooks knows how to build suspense. The 52-year-old country star has kept his fans on their boot-holstered toes since he confessed late last year his plans to resume touring in 2014. Naturally, fellow Okies have assumed that Tulsa and/or Oklahoma City would be on the tour schedule once it was officially announced. For more than a week,, the singer’s official website, flashed the not-too-subtle hint that Brooks would make an announcement of some sort on July 7. The news was that a press conference had been scheduled.

For three days, media and star-watchers waited amidst news that Brooks’ “comeback” concerts scheduled in Ireland were in jeopardy because of Dubliners living near the planned venue keen to see a local ordinance enforced, preventing Brooks from holding two of the five outdoor shows originally scheduled at Dublin’s Croke Park. The concerts sold-out, but Brooks canceled all the shows.

He addressed the canceled concerts during Thursday press conference, telling journalists that it hurt him to nix the shows.

Brooks is one of the top-selling recording artists worldwide. In the 1990s, he took country music to new heights with his writing and lyrics as influenced by folk and rock music of his youth as by the country music his parents loved. With more than 69 million albums sold and counting, Brooks is the best-selling artist in the U.S. He’s also known for taking his multiplatinum hits such as “Friends in Low Places,” “Shameless” and “The Thunder Rolls” to the concert arena set to effects and theatrics on a scale previously reserved for major rock acts.

The singer made even greater headlines when he retired from the business in 2001 to focus on raising his children. In 2005, he married fellow country music star Trisha Yearwood. In 2009, Brooks returned to the stage to play weekend shows at Encore at Wynn Las Vegas. Since the end of his four-year gig on the Las Vegas Strip, he has done several benefit concerts and occasionally teased that he was ready to star recording and touring again.

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