Jimmie Allen, Kelly Clarkson, Jason Aldean and more among a star-studded list of people tributing Garth Brooks during tonight’s (June 6) 43rd Kennedy Center Honors.
Brooks is one of several honorees at the 2021 Kennedy Center Honors, alongside actor Dick Van Dyke, dancer and choreographer Debbie Allen, singer-songwriter Joan Baez and violinist Midori.
Aldean, Bradley Cooper, John Travolta and Wayne Gretzky are honoring Brooks with special messages as presenters during the awards ceremony, while Clarkson will pay homage to the country icon with an emotion-filled performance of “The Dance.”
Clarkson previously explained that she related to “The Dance” very much throughout her divorce from Brandon Blackstock during Brooks’ appearance on The Kelly Clarkson Show earlier this year.
“So I’m going through a divorce and there’s been like a lot of books and people always give you stuff to help, especially when you have kids and stuff,” Clarkson previously shared. “And there’s so much shame and guilt. I couldn’t quite nail down the feeling, Like you don’t want to crap on it, like, you don’t want to say that [relationship] doesn’t count or matter, but you don’t know what to put in it because it didn’t work out like you wanted. 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.’”
Allen will perform Brooks’ biggest hit “Friends In Low Places” as well as “The Thunder Rolls.”
In addition to Clarkson and Allen, James Taylor will perform Brooks’ “The River” and Gladys Knight will perform “We Shall Be Free.”
Brooks’ wife Trisha Yearwood will be by his side throughout the ceremony.
Although the honor was awarded live last month in Washington, D.C., the 2021 Kennedy Center Honors are set to broadcast on Sunday, June 6 at 8 p.m. EST on CBS.