Kelly Clarkson Confesses She Was ‘Nervous’ Performing ‘The Dance’ for Garth Brooks at 2021 Kennedy Center Honors

by Josh Lanier

Kelly Clarkson said singing “The Dance” in front of Garth Brooks wasn’t a fun experience. The 39-year-old singer said she was “the sweatiest human on planet earth” when she walked out to perform his iconic hit during the Kennedy Center Honors.

“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,” Clarkson told Entertainment Tonight. “And I got a little nervous, and I don’t get nervous singing. Yep, I didn’t enjoy that!”

But she made it through just fine. And her rendition nearly brought Brooks and his wife Trisha Yearwood to tears, Access Hollywood reported.

“I’m already wishing I had a mask on so I could do this,” Brooks said in a preview of the event, as he tried to cover his tears. “And then the whole band kicks in. It’s just so pretty. (Clarkson) is a true friend to a song. She’s amazing.”

The Kennedy Center paid respects to Brooks and several others including Debbie Allen, Joan Baez, Dick Van Dyke, and Midori. The Kennedy Center Honors recognize those who have made great contributions to the performing arts. The ceremony was filmed last month but will air on Sunday at 8 p.m. EST on CBS.

Kelly Clarkson Has a History With ‘The Dance’

Kelly Clarkson admitted to Garth Brooks on her show in December that “The Dance” helped her through her recent divorce from her ex-husband Brandon Blackstock.

She said that explaining the experience was so difficult, but hearing that song put things into perspective.

“I couldn’t quite nail down the feeling,” Clarkson said during her show. “I was, like, well, you don’t want to crap on (my relationship). Like, you don’t want to say that didn’t count or matter, but you don’t know what to put in it because it didn’t work out how you wanted and so, anyway, I kid you not, I was listening to my playlist and ‘The Dance’ came on and I was like, ‘No, that’s the thing. That’s it.’”

She pays homage to the song in her upcoming album. She sang the line to Brooks during his appearance on The Kelly Clarkson Show.

“‘Even though my heart is broken, it was worth the dance, anyway,’” she sang. Clarkson then got the chance to sing “The Dance” with Brooks, and it was her turn to get emotional.

“I was listening in 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.”