Clarkson paid tribute to Brooks during the Kennedy Center Honors ceremony by singing a beautiful rendition of his fan-favorite hit song, “The Dance.” Her performance of the popular song was so good that it moved Brooks to tears alongside his wife Trisha Yearwood. Clarkson admitted that she was nervous texting Yearwood ahead of her performance and she normally doesn’t get nervous before performing.
“I was texting Trisha Yearwood before the show and then I go on stage and I saw them and like all of a sudden I am the sweatiest human on planet earth,” Clarkson admitted to Entertainment Tonight, ahead of the event that airs on June 6. “And I got a little nervous, and I don’t get nervous singing. Yep, I didn’t enjoy that!”
Brooks admits that he wished that he had a mask on to cover his emotion-filled face as Clarkson’s remarkable performance brought him to tears.
“I’m already wishing I had a mask on so I could do this,” Brooks shared as he held his hand over his face in a preview clip holding back tears, which you can watch below. “And then the whole band kicks in. It’s just so pretty. That woman is a true friend to a song. She’s amazing.”
Following Clarkson’s performance, the singer gushed over Brooks captivating sound.
“He’s one of those artist that is so captivating and compelling that when you’re listening to his music,” Clarkson gushed of Brooks. “You could feel his energy, it’s like you could close your eyes and picture the performance. I don’t think many people can do that just captivate you like that. And his catalog is insane, he’s such a great songwriter, not just a vocalist.”
Clarkson also shared that Brooks’ song “The Dance” has a whole new meaning to her after having some personal hard time over the last year.
“I’m actually going through kind of a hard time personally this past year,” Clarkson explained. “I was listening to The Dance and I was listening to the lyrics and I was like man it hit me and kind of such a different way. Like I was like oh I never got this song until now and I thought what a well written song.”
“I couldn’t quite nail down the feeling. I was, like, well, you don’t want to crap on it. Like, you don’t want to say that didn’t count or matter, but you don’t know what to put in it because it didn’t work out how you wanted,” Clarkson said during the episode. “And so, anyway, I kid you not, I was listening to my playlist and ‘The Dance’ came on and I was like, ‘No, that’s the thing. That’s it.’”
Brooks was among several, including Joan Baez, Dick Van Dyke, Debbie Allen, Midori, being honored by the Kennedy Center.
Additionally, Jimmie Allen, Derek Hough, Vanessa Hudgens, Pentatonix, Gladys Knight, Emmylou Harris, and Yo-Yo Ma also paid tribute to the honorees.
Although the honor has already been given, Kennedy Center Honors are set to air on CBS this Sunday, June 6 at 8/7c.