November 15, 2001 01:55 AM

Oklahoma’s own Garth Brooks plans to perform a benefit in the rival state of Texas for a very good cause on Nov. 28. The country superstar will give a free concert on South Padre Island in an effort to draw visitors to an area of the Gulf Coast hurt by a Sept. 15 bridge collapse. The Associated Press reports that the resort’s economy has been severely crippled since a string of barges slammed into the island’s only bridge, collapsing the midsection of the Queen Isabella Causeway. Eight drivers died when their vehicles plunged into the Laguna Madre, and travel to the island has been limited to ferry service established after the collapse. “He’d heard about what happened, and . . . he wanted to do his part to help out,” South Padre Island Visitor and Convention Bureau spokeswoman Erica Pena told the news service. The concert is to be one of three separate CBS-televised stops on the “Garth Brooks: Coast to Coast” tour, which will also promote Brooks’s new album, “Scarecrow.” A Nov. 21 performance will air from the USS Enterprise aircraft carrier at Norfolk, Va., to welcome soldiers back from a deployment in Afghanistan. The third performance will occur at L.A.’s Forum, and each concert will be broadcast as an hour-long special at 10 p.m. ET. Brooks, 39, has announced that he has limited his live performances, and won’t tour on the concert circuit again, until his three daughters — ages 9, 7 and 5 — are grown. He lives close to ex-wife, Sandy Brooks, in Oklahoma, and the children alternate between the two homes, which are on opposite sides of a farm. Of the TV specials, Brooks told AP, “If people tune in, it’s going to put us in front of 10 times as many people as it took us three years to see live on tour. So it works out really well for me as a father.”

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