Garth Brooks was thanked for his contributions to American culture on Friday (May 22), receiving the nation’s highest honor for achievement in the arts as a Kennedy Center Honoree.
Delayed from late last year, the elegant ceremony took place in Washington D.C., and found Brooks in excellent company — not to mention feeling overwhelmed. Proudly displaying his rainbow-colored medallion, the country giant posted two pictures to social media, posing with wife Trisha Yearwood and “loosely” quoting poet Maya Angelou in the caption.
“I stand here as one but I stand here for the people who have carried me to this point,” he wrote, praising all those who helped throughout his storied career.
Highlighted for their tremendous impact on American life, other honorees this year include comedian-actor Dick Van Dyke; dancer, artist and choreographer Debbie Allen; singer-songwriter Joan Baez; and violinist Midori. Previous honorees include icons like Willie Nelson, Merle Haggard and Loretta Lynn.
The 2021 ceremony, which was held at the Kennedy Center opera house for the first time due to COVID-19 precautions, was hosted by Gloria Estefan and also featured a performance by cello master Yo-Yo Ma for a 120-person audience. That musical tribute, along with acceptance speeches and other segments filmed around the Kennedy Center campus, will be edited into a television special to air on CBS June 6.
Garth Brooks was last in the nation’s capitol in January, when he was on hand to sing “Amazing Grace” at President Joe Biden’s inauguration ceremony. He recently announced a new stop in Utah on his soon to restart Stadium tour.