Garth Brooks Earns Library of Congress’ Gershwin Prize for Popular Song [Pictures]
Garth Brooks has added another honor to his trophy case: The Library of Congress' Gershwin Prize for Popular Song. The country superstar received the honor on Wednesday night (March 4), during a star-studded concert in Washington, D.C.
Per Billboard, Brooks' Gershwin Prize ceremony featured performances from Keith Urban, Chris Stapleton, Lee Brice, Keb' Mo' and Trisha Yearwood, Brooks' wife. Television personality Jay Leno also offered remarks about his longtime friend, noting that Brooks "loves his fans as much as they love him.”
“Representing Nashville is always a joy and an honor, and it takes on an even greater honor tonight because the rest of Nashville who aren’t playing are running chainsaws and opening up their homes to people who don’t have one," Brooks reflected before the ceremony, which took place one day after a string of tornadoes devastated Nashville and nearby areas of Middle Tennessee. He also used time during his acceptance speech to nod to those affected by the storm.
"We are right on that edge of becoming one of the major cities, but in my lifetime we will not lose that small-town community, and that’s a beautiful thing," Brooks added of Music City. "We are a family."
The Gershwin Prize for Popular Song "celebrates the work of an artist whose career reflects lifetime achievement in promoting song as a vehicle of musical expression and cultural understanding," according to the Library of Congress' website. Brooks, at 58 years old, is the youngest person to receive the honor.
“An award is only as good as the names on it,” Brooks says in a statement. “First off, for any musician, the name Gershwin says it all. Add to Ira’s and George’s names the names of the past recipients, and you have an award of the highest honor. I am truly humbled.”
Past recipients of the Gershwin Prize for Popular Song include Tony Bennett, Smokey Robinson, Billy Joel, Carole King, Stevie Wonder, Paul McCartney, and others. Fans can flip through the photo gallery below to see more from Brooks' ceremony, and tune into Garth Brooks: The Library of Congress Gershwin Prize for Popular Song at 9PM ET on March 29 on PBS.
Brooks launched his career in 1989 with his self-titled debut album, which scored him his first No. 1 hit single, "If Tomorrow Never Comes." He's gone on to major success in country music, scoring a string of classic hits that includes "The Dance," "Friends in Low Places," "Unanswered Prayers" and more. His current single is "Dive Bar," a duet with Blake Shelton.
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