45th Kennedy Center Honors. Watch Garth Brooks honor Gladys Knight

Garth Brooks couldn’t hold back tears at last year’s 43rd Kennedy Center Honors.

As one of five honorees at the ceremony, he sat in the audience while other artists paid tribute to his work. He cried during the performance of Kelly Clarkson’s “Dance”. And when Gladys Knight took the stage to perform “We Shall Be Free,” Brooks was visibly moved again.

It only took a few words of Knight singing the country star’s hit song for an overwhelmed Brooks to cover her mouth as tears began to flow. At the end of Knight’s performance, the two artists kissed each other.

A year later, Brooks got the chance to pay his respects to Knight on the same stage.

Garth Brooks Honors Gladys Knight at 45th Kennedy Center Honors

According to kennedy-center.org, Knight was one of five artists honored at the 45th Kennedy Center Honors along with George Clooney, Amy Grant, Tanya Leon and U2.

As part of the program honoring Knight’s contributions and influence on American culture, Brooks performed Knight’s monster hit “Midnight Train to Georgia” accompanied by Knight’s backup singers The Pips.

“Gladys Knight is not only the empress of soul, she is the heart and soul of soul,” Brooks said in a statement posted on her website. “When he sang ‘We Shall Be Free’ last year, I couldn’t help but smile and cry. And when I was asked to pay tribute to him, I couldn’t say yes fast enough.”

Knight smiled and beamed as Brooks brought his song to life for the audience in Washington. After the performance, which was filmed on December 4 and broadcast on December 28, Brooks called Knight “one of the greatest performers in history”. It was reported by Mayhem Magazine.

“I’ve honored other artists, and I was honored last year, and now I’m back to honor another artist, and I have to say, honoring another artist is the fun part,” Brooks said, according to Music Mayhem Magazine of “To sing one of the greatest songs in history tonight for one of the greatest artists in history was a bit much for me, but what an honor to sing ‘Midnight Train To Georgia’ for one of the sweetest, most beautiful souls. , both inside and out, Gladys Knight.”

Brooks later joined Patti Labelle, Micky Guyton, and Ariana DeBose for a rendition of Knight’s “That’s What Friends Are For.”

What Gladys Knight had to say about being a Kennedy Center Honoree

Knight, who has seven Grammys and is a Rock and Roll Hall of Famer, said being a Kennedy Center Honoree is one of the highlights of his career.

“I stand here with my fans, my family, my friends, my team and my faith to accept such an amazing difference,” said Knight, who is a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. “I am humbled to be included among this distinguished group of individuals, both past and present.

“You could never have told me as a young woman starting my career that I would be honored on a stage like this with such artists and humanitarians, it just didn’t seem possible,” she continued. “It would be the dream of all dreams. I’ve been blessed with a lot in my life, and this certainly ranks right up there with those accomplishments at the top of that list.”

Note: The 45th Kennedy Center Honors is available to stream CBS.com and Paramount+.

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