Yearwood gave a heartfelt toast that moved her husband, while they were in attendance of the 43rd Kennedy Center Honors festivities. She touched on who he is as an artist, who he is as her husband and all the love he has in his heart to give to those around him.
“I thought a lot about what I wanted to say about Garth, because there’s so much to say. So all of the stats are things that you probably will be told tomorrow night, or have already heard in the course of the last couple of days. So I’m not here to give you the stats. I’m here to tell you a few things about, I can’t look at you, about Garth from a more personal side,” Yearwood began, as she and Brooks both held back their emotional tears.
She went on to share that at 26 years old, she went on tour for the first time as an opening act, and it was Brooks’ tour. Her experience meeting him for the first time was unexpected because he didn’t “fit the mold” of the typical megastar that she had always pictured. Instead, she explained how he “treated everybody the same” and luckily, that’s still the case with her husband today.
“I learned how to be an artist. I learned how to be a person. I learned how to just really be from this guy. He led by example. I watched how this guy who was number one at everything, I watched how he treated every single person that he came in close contact with. From the guy who was unloading the truck when we got to the gig, he could do everybody’s job, he sometimes helped focus the lights, He would be up 40 feet in the air, helping the guys, to treating every single fan like they were the only person in the room. Everybody he treated with respect and kindness. And most of all he treated everybody the same.”
Brooks and Yearwood have known each other for over 30 years. He was her mentor back then and now, he’s her loving husband who supports her in the career she has built for herself. This Oklahoma native might still wear wranglers and a cowboy hat, but as Yearwood said, “it’s impossible to put him in a box or a category because he doesn’t look at life in one way.” But if she had to, she would say “that box is love.”
“Most of us care about our friends and our family. He loves his wife. But he loves so far beyond. People say ‘love one another.’ He really wants us all to love one another. It’s his mantra,” she added.
Although she didn’t have a drink in her hand, she ended her speech acknowledging the meaning behind tapping a table with a class and then drinking with a toast. The memory of asking “why?” in regard to this tradition stuck with them to this day. They learned that this action is for all those who aren’t here anymore and they thought it was the “coolest thing.”
“So what I would ask you tonight, because I’m sure everybody has somebody that they would want to tap the table for. When we do give our toast, tap that table for that someone for you. So tonight without a glass, it is my honor to toast my husband, my best friend, love of my life. Mr. Garth Brooks.”
Cheers to you Garth!