Remember When Garth Brooks Honored Billy Joel at the Kennedy Center Honors?
An enthusiastic crowd, including Joel himself, welcomed Brooks to the hallowed stage for the third time on Dec. 29, 2013. The country superstar had previously honored George Jones and Loretta Lynn at the Kennedy Center. Brooks wore all black as he closed out 2013, sporting a black cowboy hat to sing Joel's "Allentown" and "Goodnight Saigon."
“I’ve been very, very lucky that the three times I’ve done it now, with Billy being the third, these were all epic, iconic heroes that influenced my life and my music,” Brooks said.
The country singer was just one of the many talented performers who were on hand to honor Joel. Rufus Wainwright, Don Henley and Brendon Urie from Panic! at the Disco also performed some of Joel's most famous and iconic music.
Brooks is a longtime fan of Joel's, and he scored a No. 1 hit in 1991 with his cover of Joel's "Shameless," which he released as the second single from his Ropin' the Wind album. In 2008, Brooks actually got to team up with Joel to perform "Shameless" live at Shea Stadium when Joel played a sold-out two-night stand at the legendary venue, marking the last live performances at Shea Stadium before it was torn down to make way for Citi Field.
"His catalog is so deep, you could have taken the six or seven songs that we did for a tribute to him, wipe them out and put six or seven more Billy Joel songs in there, and I don’t think you would notice a difference,” Brooks marveled at the Kennedy Center. “You’ll be stunned if you look up and actually see how many Billy Joel songs you know and that you really loved.”
The 2013 Kennedy Center Honors also recognized the cultural contributions of Shirley MacLaine, Carlos Santana, Herbie Hancock, Martina Arroyo and Teresa Heinz Kerry.
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