Garth Brooks Says He Owes His Success to 'Friends in Low Places' Songwriter

The 'No Fences' crooner pays tribute to late songwriter Dewayne Blackwell following the latter's passing, thanking the songwriter for penning hit singles for him.

AceShowbiz - Garth Brooks has honoured his "Friends in Low Places" songwriter, Dewayne Blackwell, insisting he wouldn't be the success he is today if it wasn't for that song.

Blackwell, who co-wrote the track "Earl Bud Lee", died on Sunday (23May21), aged 84, and Brooks still insists he'd be nothing if he hadn't recorded the tune, which became a huge hit.

"Friends in Low Places" was the first single released from Brooks' 1990 album, "No Fences", which has sold over 18 million units in the U.S. alone. He also recorded Blackwell's "Mr. Blue" for the same album.

Paying tribute to his longtime friend, Garth tells Billboard, "What we lost when we lost Dewayne Blackwell was someone who truly was a craftsman, not a settler. He would not settle. If everything lined up, it would take you five minutes to write a song; if things didn't, it could take you five years to write a song. He was not one of those guys that would let anything pass. He did it for the sake of the song and for the sake of entertainment. He understood that."

Brooks explains Blackwell and Lee were pitching "Friends in Low Places" to George Strait when he got the call to come in and record a demo.

"This was the one I couldn't get out of my head for months," he says. "It just kept circling back in. I never (could) believe that me as an artist would take that song on. And now I can't imagine being the artist that I've got to be without that song."

"While I (was) forming my writing habits as a young writer, (manager) Bob Doyle teamed me with Larry Bastian and Dewayne Blackwell. Both are pure rhymists, and they won't allow a non-pure rhyme in. So the crazy thing to think about is the next time you're hammered and you're doing karaoke and you're singing what could possibly be the most sung party song on the planet, know that Friends in Low Places has pure rhyme 100 per cent through it. Isn't it amazing?"

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