Country vet with label since 1989.

In a surprising move, Garth Brooks and Capitol Records Nashville have ended their longtime association. Capitol has been Brooks' only label home since his career began in 1989.

Together the artist and label have sold more than 100 million albums, according to the RIAA. He remained with the label even after he announced his retirement from the music business in October, 2000. His last album, "Scarecrow," was released in 2001.

Calling it a "mutual agreement," Capitol parent company EMI said in a statement that while terms of the split are confidential, "no compensation was requested by Mr. Brooks or paid by EMI for the license termination."

Capitol released a total of 15 projects from Brooks including a boxed set, a hits package, a double live album, three holiday CDs and one pop album he recorded under the name Chris Gaines. Brooks' most successful album, 1990's "No Fences," is certified 16 times platinum by the RIAA.

"For nearly two decades, Capitol Nashville has had an extraordinary and fruitful relationship with Garth," said Capitol Nashville president and CEO Mike Dungan in a statement. "We wish him all the best for the future."

In 1992 Brooks renegotiated his contract with Capitol. At the time, he told Billboard, "I'm not sure that this deal will ever be made again in this sort of fashion because it's not your typical deal. It's a full incentive contract where we start from scratch every time. If we don't sell any records, we don't get a cent; and if we sell a lot of records, we get a lot of money . . . it's that black and white."

Since his renegotiation, Brooks' albums were licensed to EMI under his Pearl Records.

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