Garth Brooks' 'We Shall Be Free' Video: In a Time of 'Turmoil,' We Should Embrace Our 'Differences'
"25 years later, the message has reached its mark," Garth Brooks says about releasing an anniversary video of his controversial song 'We Shall Be Free'
Garth Brooks loves that music brings people together.
“It’s pretty cool looking out and seeing so many generations out there,” the country music legend, 55, tells PEOPLE exclusively of being out on tour with wife Trisha Yearwood. “It’s crazy that some of the people who were in their teens and 20s when I toured in the ’90s are now there with their kids.”
The experience is particularly surreal since “we released hardly any new music in the time that we were home with our babies,” says Brooks, who stepped away from the spotlight for much of the 2000s. “It’s a lot of the same people out on tour with me and the set list even looks the same. It’s a really interesting experience.”
And now Brooks is hoping to help heal a country divided with the release of a video for his 1992 song “We Shall Be Free.”
Brooks wrote the song — which imagines a world without world hunger, homelessness, homophobia, racism and religious persecution — after seeing the aftermath of the Los Angeles riots.
“I didn’t think it would be controversial but when this song first came out, it was not welcomed with opened arms,” says the singer, who recently broke his own world record by selling more than 5 million concert tickets for a single tour. “I guess I’m always surprised because, I guess, I’m just one of those ignorant guys who thinks that everybody kinda feels the same and, man, we don’t.”
Brooks had recorded an all-star video to celebrate the 10-year anniversary of the song in 2002, but because of publishing issues it was never released. But to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the song, Brooks released the video via his weekly Inside Studio G session on his Facebook page Monday.
“People have been requesting ‘We Shall Be Free’ a lot more recently,” says Brooks. “Any time there is turmoil, any time there is division, we are looking for a safe place. This song is telling us, ‘We’ve all got our differences, but instead of letting it separate it, let’s revel in those differences and use them to our advantage as one.’ I truly think that 25 years later, the message has reached its mark.”