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Garth Brooks' benefit concert sells out

| November 8, 2010 8:00 PM

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Garth Brooks is going to be very busy in December.

Brooks sold more than 140,000 tickets Saturday morning and his benefit concert for Nashville flood relief ballooned from one show to nine.

"It's great to be a part of the healing," Brooks said in a news release.

The release says the day's sales set a record for tickets sold in Tennessee, besting a concert held by Michael Jackson at Neyland Stadium in Knoxville that drew more than 72,000 fans.

Brooks initially retired about a decade ago to spend more time with his family, but demand for the best-selling solo artist in U.S. history remains high. The 48-year-old musician came out of retirement late last year, announcing a series of shows at the Wynn Resort in Las Vegas that quickly sold out.

The benefit concerts are his only arena shows this year and will include his wife, Trisha Yearwood, his full band and unnamed guests.

He'll now play six shows in nine days from Dec. 16-22 with two shows on Dec. 16, 21 and 22. Tickets were $25 apiece and he raised $3.5 million for The Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee.

May's flood caused more than $2 billion in damage in Nashville alone and 22 people were killed by flooding in middle and west Tennessee.

Nashville's music community was affected with the Grand Ole Opry house closed for five months and thousands of instruments were destroyed when a popular storage and rehearsal space where artists like Brad Paisley and Keith Urban housed their gear was swamped.

There have been a series of benefit telethons and concerts since then hosted by country music stars like Tim McGraw and Faith Hill, and Vince Gill.

2 actors unions, Hollywood studios reach agreement

LOS ANGELES - Two film industry unions have agreed to a proposed contract from Hollywood movie and television studios in a tentative deal that would eliminate the threat of an actors' strike for at least three years.

The American Federation of Television and Radio Artists and the Screen Actors Guild reached the agreement with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers after more than two months of negotiations.

The agreement announced early Sunday would increase benefit contributions to health and retirement funds by 10 percent, bringing the total contribution rate to 16.5. Wages would increase by 6 percent over the three-year span of the contract.

"We met our goal of increasing contributions to our retirement and pension plans," AFTRA National President Roberta Reardon said in a statement. AFTRA represents 70,000 professional performers, broadcasters and recording artists.

SAG President Ken Howard added that strengthening the pension and health plans was a top priority in negotiations. SAG represents 125,000 actors.

The contract also promises expanded union coverage over new media productions.

- The Associated Press

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