Garth Brooks 'Grateful' To Be a 2021 Kennedy Center Honors Recipient

Garth Brooks was one of the honorees during this year's Kennedy Center Honors, and the annual ceremony took place on Friday, May 21 after being postponed from December due to the pandemic. Along with Brooks, this year's honorees included artist, choreographer, and actress Debbie Allen, singer-songwriter and activist Joan Baez, violinist Midori and actor Dick Van Dyke.

The ceremony is typically held at the State Department but was moved to the Kennedy Center's opera house, where the 2021 honorees received their medallions, the Associated Press shares. This year's event was hosted by Gloria Estefan with a performance by cellist Yo-Yo Ma. "I don't mind being the weak link on the chain," Brooks joked during the evening. "I'm in the chain!" After the ceremony, the record-breaking country star used Instagram to celebrate, posting two photos of himself with wife Trisha Yearwood.

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He began his caption by announcing that he would be "loosely" quoting poet Maya Angelou and wrote, "I stand here as one but I stand here for the people who have carried me to this point. Grateful! love, g #KCHonors." Yearwood also documented the evening on her own Instagram, revealing that she had a whole lot of fun celebrating her husband.

"No Coffee Talk today," she captioned a photo of Brooks' cowboy hat and his medallion on Saturday morning, referencing her online streaming show. "We celebrated a little too late last night! xo." She also documented her newly-formed friendship with Debbie Allen, posting a photo of the two together and writing, "Me and my new best friend, Kennedy Center honoree Debbie Allen! Congrats to all the honorees!"

Brooks, who has previously performed in tribute to multiple Kennedy Center Honorees including James Taylor (2016), Billy Joel (2013), and Loretta Lynn (2003), was named as a 2021 honoree in January. "President John F. Kennedy was a childhood hero of mine, and he has continued to be through every stage of my life. He knew that a nation is defined by its culture and a culture is defined by its arts," he said in a statement at the time. "I have watched many of my heroes sit in that booth during their ceremony, I have even had the joyous honor of singing for some of them on their special night."

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"The hope is to have contributed to humanity like my heroes have, to inspire us to be the most we can be as individuals, global citizens, and a part of human history," he continued. "But most of all, to simply laugh, cry, love, and dream through music...I have been blessed to do just that as a fan and as an artist."