This past weekend was a big one for Garth Brooks as he received his Kennedy Center Honor alongside Dick Van Dyke, Joan Baez, violin virtuoso Midori and Debbie Allen on Friday night (5/21).
Garth said at the Ceremony, “Just getting to be among this level of ‘character,’ I feel very lucky. An award is only as good as the names that are on it. When you walk in that door and you see the list of names and then you sit in this group and get to be a part of this. For the first time in my life, I don’t mind being the weak link in the chain. I’m in the chain – that’s it.”
Brooks said, acknowledging Midori to his side, “I’m looking at character and discipline here.” He said of Baez. “You can’t see this woman without looking at courage.” He told Debbie Allen, “Cool is a passing thing. You can’t be cool decade after decade after decade. You’re cool always. It kills me.”
Lastly, he noted, “I think timeless is the word you would use for Dick Van Dyke,” adding, “Time is the only true test of sincerity. The guy’s almost 100 years old, and he’s still the same guy! This means it was not an act – this is who he is! A true blessing for everyone who’s ever been a fan and everyone who’s in his life.”
The group’s Washington, D.C. itinerary included a Thursday (5/20) meeting with the President and First Lady, a Thursday evening event featuring the National Symphony Orchestra, Friday’s (5/21) Medallion Ceremony in the Kennedy Center’s Opera House (hosted by prior recipient Gloria Estefan, who will also host CBS’ June 6 TV special showcasing the honorees), and a Saturday (5/22) performance event on an outdoor plaza at the cultural center for the arts.
James Taylor and Bradley Cooper were among those offering congratulations to Garth.
Brooks posted to Instagram, “To loosely quote Maya Angelou I stand here as one but I stand here for the people who have carried me to this point. Grateful! love, g #KCHonors.”