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Words With Friends Live brings on Garth Brooks for season finale – CNET

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Country singer Garth Brooks chats with Sangita Sarkar, director of product marketing for Words With Friends, about his love for the game at Zynga’s San Francisco headquarters Wednesday.

Abrar Al-Heeti/CNET

Excited murmurs filled the room as around 80 people, some donning cowboy hats, eagerly anticipated Garth Brooks’ arrival at Zynga’s San Francisco headquarters Wednesday.

Five people in the third row held up square foam boards spelling GARTH as the country singer, wearing a black cowboy hat, blue button-down shirt and light jeans, made his way to the stage. The letters his fans held up called upon the design of those featured in Words With Friends, the popular multiplayer word game developed by Zynga.

Sangita Sarkar, director of product marketing for Words With Friends, sat with Brooks to chat about his love for the game, which he says he’s been playing for nine years. It didn’t take long for the singer to chime in with a word suggestion.

“I think ‘y’all’ ought to be accepted,” he joked.

“We’ll see what we can do to add it to the dictionary,” Sarkar laughed.

To celebrate the Words With Friends’ 10th anniversary, Zynga launched a partnership last week with Brooks featuring themed in-game activities in Words With Friends 2. Brooks dropped by to co-host the season finale of Words With Friends Live, a daily trivia game broadcast within Words With Friends 2, at 6:15 p.m. PT.

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A quick performance by Garth Brooks at Zynga’s San Francisco headquarters. The country singer co-hosted the season finale of Words With Friends Live, a daily trivia game broadcast within Words With Friends 2.

Abrar Al-Heeti/CNET

Brooks isn’t new to merging tech with his musical career. The country singer has used Facebook Live to connect with fans, answer questions and share the latest updates on his music. He touched on the importance of being genuine when interacting with people on social media.

“You can tell even through a text, even through a post, if people are sincere or not,” he said. 

He later elaborated on the connections technology has allowed him to have with fans around the world.

“You couldn’t get to people 10, 15 years ago,” Brooks told me. “You could sign autographs all day long, and you’d probably reach 200, 300 people. But here, you can reach tens of thousands of people in a single setting and make it personal.”

Brooks also launched the final pre-order window for the Legacy Collection, a seven-disc vinyl box set featuring music spanning his career.

In a world of streaming, he said, there’s an irreplaceable value to possessing physical copies of music. After all, CDs and vinyl records have been making a comeback in the music industry. 

“I don’t think people want their music to be background,” Brooks said. “They want it to be part of their lives.” 

Brooks wrapped his fireside chat by referencing the title of his hit song Friends in Low Places that just about everyone in the room saw coming.

“Maybe we can talk and bring Words With Friends in Low Places,” he joked.

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