Garth Brooks has promised to raise $1 million for Los Angeles riot-relief efforts through two benefit concerts on Jan. 29 at the Forum in Inglewood.
Pam Lewis, the country singer's manager, said Monday that Brooks has wanted to do a benefit in Los Angeles since the uprising last spring.
"He was in Los Angeles for the Academy of Country Music Awards when the riots started," Lewis said. "He was deeply touched and that's why he wrote the song 'We Shall Be Free' (a recent country hit single) and he wanted to come up with something to help the people in L.A."
The concerts--co-sponsored by the National Football League and the United Way--will be the centerpieces of a week of events leading up to the Super Bowl game on Jan. 31 at the Rose Bowl. The United Way will distribute the concert proceeds.
In the months following the riots, Southern California concert promoters promised to develop a series of high-profile shows to raise funds for the affected communities.
But only one concert--a May event at the 2,200-seat Wiltern Theatre featuring Tom Waits, Los Lobos and Fishbone--materialized until now.
Tickets for Brooks' last Los Angeles appearance--July 17 at the Forum--sold out in less than 15 minutes, a record at the 18,000-seat arena, according to Forum General Manager Claire Rothman.
Tickets for the Jan. 29 shows--scheduled for 7 p.m. and 10:30 p.m., with no opening acts--go on sale Saturday at 9 a.m. at all Music Plus and Tower Ticketmaster locations and through the Ticketmaster phone charge lines.
Randomly numbered priority wristbands will be given out at ticket outlets at 8 a.m. All seats will be priced at $20. Proceeds from concert merchandise and concessions will also go to the United Way and Brooks has pledged to make up any difference if the total falls short of $1 million.
"We Shall Be Free," Brooks' gospel-flavored call for racial and sexual tolerance, proved too progressive for country radio.
The single, which stalled at No. 12 in October on Billboard magazine's weekly country radio chart, was the first Brooks single in three years to fall short of the country Top 10. The song is also the opening track on Brooks' recent album, "The Chase," which entered the pop and country charts at No. 1 in October and remains in the Top 10 on both charts.