The Kennedy Center announced Brooks as one of the recipients of the 43rd Kennedy Center Honors on Wednesday (Jan. 13). Along with Brooks, The 43rd Kennedy Center Honors will also celebrate the lifetime achievements of activist Joan Baez, actress Debbie Allen, violinist Midori and actor Dick Van Dyke. Kennedy Center Honors are prestigious “lifetime artistic achievement” awards.
“I’m humble. I’m proud. I’m all the good things,” Brooks said upon finding out of the high honor. “Probably most excited and most proud for country music. Any chance you get to ‘wave that flag’ among the many other flags of entertainment – not only in this country, but around the world – that’s always an honor.”
“President John F. Kennedy was a childhood hero of mine, and he has continued to be through every stage of my life,” Brooks added. “He knew that a nation is defined by its culture and a culture is defined by its arts. I have watched many of my heroes sit in that booth during their ceremony, I have even had the joyous honor of singing for some of them on their special night. The hope is to have contributed to humanity like my heroes have, to inspire us to be the most we can be as individuals, global citizens, and a part of human history. But most of all, to simply laugh, cry, love, and dream through music… I have been blessed to do just that as a fan and as an artist.”
The superstar previously attended and honored other artists at the honors ceremony including Loretta Lynn, George Jones, Billy Joel and James Taylor.
“Like any award, the names that are already on it makes the award that award,” Brooks shared knowing that several of the previous honorees are heroes of his. “And to think of the names that have been presented this in the past – and the names that will be there that night – is extremely humbling.”
Brooks and company will be honored during the ceremony that has been delayed until May.
The Kennedy Center Honors will air on June 6th at 9 p.m. ET on CBS.