Garth Brooks Bawled When James Taylor Sang “The River” For Him At The Kennedy Center Honors

Garth Brooks country music

I do love a full circle moment.

But, I don’t think anyone likes it more than Garth Brooks.

Back in 2016, Garth got emotional when he paid tribute to Kennedy Center Honors nominee James Taylor, and then last year at the end of 2021, we circled all the way back around.

Garth was honored as a member of the 43rd class of the Kennedy Center Honors last December, and the ceremony took place in Washington, D.C., where it was then James’ turn to take the stage to pay tribute to Garth.

James sang Garth’s #1 hit “The River,” which he co-wrote with Victoria Shaw and was the fifth and final single from his 1992 album Ropin’ the Wind.

And in the least surprising news you’ll read all day, Garth pretty much lost it from the opening lines.

He also got emotional as Kelly Clarkson sang a song that was very personal to her that night, “The Dance,” but he never quite had any tears streaming down his face.

In the liner notes from his 1994 greatest hits album, Garth noted “The River” has always been such a special song to him because of how deeply it resonated with his fans:

“Of all songs, most of the letters I receive concern ‘The River’. It is a song of inspiration… a song that I will be proud of a hundred years from now. Victoria Shaw is a wonderful writer and a wonderful friend.

And this is what happens when two dreamers get together and write from the heart. One of the greatest awards that this song has ever received was the fact that it was played at Dale Wehr’s funeral. Quite an honor, cowboy.”

And, possibly what got him more choked up than anything else is that the song was inspired by his childhood hero, James Taylor.

That’ll get the tears flowin’, for sure.

Not that it’s all that hard to do with Garth, but it’s pretty understandable during a moment like this.

Just watch the video if you’ve never seen it before today… the main is choked UP:

Of course, we all remember when Chris Stapleton performed “Shameless,” right?

That had Trisha whipping out the Kleenex for Garth too…

A beer bottle on a dock



A beer bottle on a dock