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Kennedy Center Honors included a touchingly emotional Garth Brooks
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Kennedy Center Honors included a touchingly emotional Garth Brooks

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While country music icon Garth Brooks looks on as a Kennedy Center Honoree, Kelly Clarkson moves everybody in attendance with a powerful performance of his classic "The Dance." Stream the full 43rd Annual Kennedy Center Honors special now on CBS and Paramount+.

This year's Kennedy Center Honors was a bit different due to the pandemic, but the emotion was the same.

Actress/dancer/director Debbie Allen, singer/activist Joan Baez, country superstar Garth Brooks, violinist Midori and legendary actor Dick Van Dyke were honored at the 43rd annual event.

Keep scrolling for a gallery of photos from Garth Brooks's career

Brooks, in particular, was visibly moved when singer Kelly Clarkson performed his song "The Dance," and cheered for her at the end.

Kennedy Center Honors included a touchingly emotional Garth Brooks

Debbie Allen, Joan Baez, Dick Van Dyke, Garth Brooks and Midori Gotō pose during the 43rd Annual Kennedy Center Honors at The Kennedy Center on May 21, in Washington, DC.

He was also visibly moved by performances of his hits by James Taylor, Jimmie Allen and Gladys Knight.

Debbie Allen's tribute was a bit of a family affair. She was feted by her sister, actress Phylicia Rashad, along with others.

The format was "re-envisioned" after a postponement in December as a result of the pandemic, according to organizers.

"Performances and tributes were filmed on stages and in locations across the Kennedy Center's iconic campus or recorded virtually throughout the week of May 17-22," a press statement for the event stated.

The Kennedy Center opened in 1971 in Washington, DC, and was named in honor of President John F. Kennedy who, with his wife Jacqueline Kennedy, had championed to raise funds to establish it.


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