Garth Brooks is known to show his emotions, and he found it hard to hold them back watching Kelly Clarkson perform her hit song “The Dance” at the Kennedy Center Honors.
An excerpt from the performance shared by Entertainment tonight finds Brooks with his eyes closed, hand over mouth as the country / pop star and TV show host sings. “And then the whole group comes in. It’s so pretty,” he said. “This woman is a true friend for a song. She’s amazing.”
Fans can watch the performance on Sunday (June 6) during CBS airing of a recorded performance on May 20.
Brooks was one of five Kennedy Center 2021 laureates, joining Debbie Allen, Midori Goto, Joan Baez and Dick Van Dyke. Clarkson is on an artist list that includes Gladys Knight and Emmylou Harris. Gloria Estefan hosted the event.
The performance has personal meaning for Clarkson, host of The Kelly Clarkson show and a coach on NBC The voice. During an interview with Brooks last December, she explained that “The Dance” had helped her overcome the emotions associated with her divorce. She says she even wrote a song for her next album based on the 1990 hit.
“I literally wrote all of this for therapeutic purposes for myself,” she says, “and it’s actually on my next album …Even though my heart is broken / It was still worth the dance. “
Clarkson is good friends with Brooks’ wife, Trisha Yearwood. In fact, she says HEY that the two were texting before the show, but that didn’t help her with her nerves.
“Then I got on stage and saw them and all of a sudden I’m the sweatiest human on planet Earth,” Clarkson said.
PICS: Garth Brooks receives Kennedy Center Honors
The Kennedy Center Honors recognize performing artists for their lifelong contribution to American culture. In 2020, Garth Brooks was part of a class of honorees that also included singer Joan Baez; dancer, choreographer and actress Debbie Allen; violinist Midori and actor Dick Van Dyke, who were celebrated for five days in Washington, DC, in May 2021, after the annual event was postponed and adjusted due to the COVID-19 pandemic.