PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Garth Brooks will spend his 53rd birthday on stage at Consol Energy center.

In Pittsburgh Thursday afternoon, he explained why he stopped touring 15 years ago.

“Three things were going on,” he told a news conference at Consol. “One, I lost my mom. That was a huge cave-in for me. I didn’t expect it to hit me that hard but it did. Second, going through a divorce.”

And third, he didn’t want his three daughters to grow up without him.

“No offense to music,” he added, “but it can’t hold a candle to being a dad.”

Now the kids have grown, and Garth Brooks is back, joined by his wife and co-star Trisha Yearwood. Fans have clamored for tickets ever since they went on sale in December. Three shows scheduled for Consol jumped to six performances, in a span of four days.

“We want people to feel like they can come in these doors and leave whatever is bothering them in their life behind. Come in here and throw your head back in a safe place full of love. Sing and enjoy yourselves. So we love the indoors that way.”

Perhaps his most emotional song was a reaction to the Oklahoma City bombing, in his home state.

“We talked about that on the plane,” he said, “that song about ‘The Change.’ Love that song. And what’s kind of odd is the ACM Awards this year – it’s our 50th anniversary – falls right on the same day, on the 20th anniversary of that.”

Although Garth Brooks is an Oklahoma boy, he says he’s a fan of Pittsburgh teams.

“I’m a black and gold fan. Started with Roberto back when I as a kid in ’72. I just love what they stand for.”

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