The Story Behind Garth Brook’s #1 Hit “Shameless”

Every so often you learn something that blows your mind. Maybe it’s learning something really interesting about a relative or learning that you played high school football against your college roommate. Recently, I learned that Billy Joel is the songwriter of Garth Brook’s smash hit “Shameless.”

True story. You may already be familiar with this fun fact but chances are that people 30 and under will have no idea.

Billy Joel wrote the song and included it on his 1989 album Storm Front which included the well-known “We Didn’t Start the Fire.” The song only cracked #40 on the Billboard charts. However, at the same time Garth Brooks was bursting on to the country music scene while falling in love with Billy Joel’s music all over again. He was drawn to “Shameless.”

Once the song fizzled out for Joel, Garth reached out to ask if he could record his own version of the song. Joel was honored. Two years later in 1991, Garth took the song to the top of the country charts and to this day is still one of his staples in his live shows.

Hear Billy Joel share his story about “Shameless” and having Garth Brooks record it.

In 2008, Brooks joined Joel on stage for a joint performance of the song.