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Garth Brooks announces country music comeback, digital downloads

(Reuters) - Country music star Garth Brooks said on Thursday he was coming out of recording retirement and will release new music for the first time in more than a decade.

Brooks, who in recent years has been playing concerts in Las Vegas, said at a Nashville news conference he would also make his music available for purchase on his website.

The "Friends in Low Places" singer, who has sold more than 130 million albums worldwide, is one of the most successful musicians who does not allow Apple Inc's iTunes music store to sell his songs as downloads.

Brooks, 52, will also announce a world tour next week. Five comeback concerts planned for Croke Park stadium in Dublin were canceled on Tuesday after authorities denied permits because local residents objected to the disruption so many successive concerts would bring.

Sony Music will distribute Brooks' forthcoming albums.

(Reporting by Eric Kelsey; editing by Mary Milliken and Gunna Dickson)

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