Garth Brooks Releases New Song, New Tour Dates

Country icon's first new single in seven years has a poignant message

Garth Brooks performs on 'The Tonight Show'
NBC Universal
Garth Brooks performs on 'The Tonight Show'
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It's been seven years since Garth Brooks has released a new song to country radio, and today the Oklahoman officially came out of musical retirement with a new single, "People Loving People."

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The song, a catchy feel-good anthem somewhat stuck in Brooks' choice decade of the Nineties with its lightweight synth production, glossy piano lines and polished country-rock guitars, will appear on the unnamed studio album expected to hit stores in November.

Written by a quirky trio of hitmakers (busbee, Lee Thomas Miller and Chris Walli) who have penned everything from Backstreet Boys tunes to Jamey Johnson's "In Color," the song echoes a sentiment set forward in Brooks' 1992 single "We Shall Be Free" that was praised by GLAAD for its message of equality. At the time, Brooks himself called it his most "controversial" yet.

"People Loving People" isn't exactly provocative, but it taps into similar themes: fighting war and addition, embracing an "Imagine"-esque world where loving each other is the cure to all that ails humanity. It's as innocuous or contentious as whoever listening makes it out to be — and with Brooks' open support of the LGBT community, that's sure to be part of the narrative.

"All the colors and the cultures circle 'round us on a spindle/It's a complicated riddle/The solution is so simple," he sings. So what's the answer, Garth? "It's people loving people/That's the enemy of everything that's evil."

Brooks also announced today an extension of his world tour, which begins in Chicago this Thursday: He'll hit Florida for the first time in 17 years for three dates at the Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena on October 10-12. Wife Trisha Yearwood, who is also readying a comeback album, will join him on all tour dates.