Kelly Clarkson Admits She Was Nervous While Singing Garth Brooks' 'The Dance' at Kennedy Center Honors

Garth Brooks was one of this year's Kennedy Center Honors recipients, and the country star and his fellow honorees were celebrated with a ceremony last month. As is typical of the annual ceremony, a number of artists were on hand to tribute the yearly honorees, and Kelly Clarkson attended the 2021 event to honor Brooks with a performance of his hit song "The Dance."

The event will air on Sunday, June 6 on CBS, and a clip shared by Entertainment Tonight saw Clarkson admit that she was feeling some nerves before taking the stage. "I was texting Trisha Yearwood before the show and then I go on stage and I saw them and like all of a sudden I am the sweatiest human on planet earth,"she said. "And I got a little nervous, and I don't get nervous singing. Yep, I didn't enjoy that!"

The video also featured a clip of an emotional Brooks' reaction to Clarkson's performance. "I'm already wishing I had a mask on so I could do this," he said, holding his hand up to cover his face. "And then the whole band kicks in. It's just so pretty. That woman is a true friend to a song. She's amazing."

Clarkson previously shared her connection to "The Dance" with Brooks when the country star appeared on The Kelly Clarkson Show in December, telling Brooks that his song had been helping her through her divorce from ex-husband Brandon Blackstock.

"There's been a lot of books and people always give you stuff to help, especially when you have kids," she said. "It was like, 'Man, there's so much shame and guilt and everybody kind of sends you stuff.'' The singer explained that she couldn't "quite nail down" the feeling she was experiencing, but that changed when was listening to one of her playlists and "The Dance" came on. "I was like, 'No, that's the thing,'" the Grammy winner recalled. "That's it."


The American Idol winner shared that she actually wrote a song for her upcoming album inspired by the message of "The Dance," with the lyrics, "Even though my heart is broken, it was worth the dance anyway."

"I was listening to my room and I was just like [crying],'" she said. "I got the point. And I think sometimes that's so crazy, you don't know that's going to happen. You've known this song your entire life and you freak out when it actually is a direct impact."