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Garth Brooks Considered Changing His Name to Avoid Confusion With Kix Brooks

Garth Brooks, Kix Brooks
Erika Goldring / Jason Kempin, Getty Images

Garth Brooks, Kix Brooks … no relation. Still, one of these country legends almost changed his name to avoid confusion with the other. During Tuesday’s press conference to announce the inductees into the Country Music Hall of Fame, Garth Brooks said fans came very close to knowing him by a different name.

The Tennessean reports that Brooks — Garth, that is — talked about how both he and his name-sharer were signed to Capitol Records as solo artists in 1987, but Kix got there first. “I would spend the next six months driving through Arkansas and Kansas looking at town names trying to decide what my last name was going to be,” he said. Fortunately for him, Kix Brooks’ deal fell through, and Garth heaved a sigh of relief.

“I was happy about that, but even more happy that Kix’s calling would be to reshape and redefine the term ‘duet’ in country music for years to come.”

Name changes are common in country music. In fact, many of today’s top stars have a very different name on their driver’s license (including Garth and Kix Brooks), as compared to what’s on their CD covers. A similar story to Garth’s tale of two Brooks is the wave of country stars named Josh in the early 2000s. Joshua Owen only became Jake Owen after Josh Gracin and Josh Turner began successful solo careers two years ahead of him.

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