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Garth Brooks will be honored by the American Music Awards with its Award of Merit during this year's American Music Awards show.

The Award of Merit is given to a member of the music community in honor of "outstanding contributions to the musical entertainment of the American public."

In the past, the Award of Merit has been given to some of the biggest names in music, including: Chuck Berry, Johnny Cash, Bing Crosby, Merle Haggard, Loretta Lynn, Paul McCartney, Elvis Presley, Kenny Rogers, Willie Nelson, Frank Sinatra and Tammy Wynette.

The inscription on the trophy given to Garth will read: "He is the top-selling solo artist with 4 Diamond albums (an album with sales of 10 million) and 21 #1 singles, and his record-setting concert and TV performances have drawn millions of new fans around the world to America's music. The American Music Award of Merit is presented to Garth Brooks, January 9, 2002." The American Music Awards will be broadcast on January 9 on ABC-TV.

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