Kelly Clarkson reveals performance of Garth Brooks' 'The Dance' for Kennedy Center tribute made her 'nervous'

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Even the pros get nervous sometimes.

Kelly Clarkson admitted that she rarely gets timid while performing on stage, but her participation in a recent tribute to Garth Brooks was an exception.

The 39-year-old singer and talk show host performed a rendition of the country icon’s own song, “The Dance,” at the Kennedy Center Honors event held in Washington D.C. when she experienced some feelings of anxiety.

“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 said (via Entertainment Tonight). “And I got a little nervous, and I don’t get nervous singing. Yep, I didn’t enjoy that!”

Kelly Clarkson filed for divorce from Brandon Blackstock in 2020. The two share two children together.
(Getty Images)

The 43rd annual event featured tributes to a number of stars in addition to Brooks, including Dick Van Dyke and Midori, Joan Baez, and Debbie Allen, according to the outlet. It took place in May but viewers will get to watch it this Sunday at 8 p.m. on CBS.

Despite her nerves, Brooks gave Clarkson a seal of approval.

“That woman is a true friend to a song. She’s amazing,” he said.

The “No Friends in Low Places” singer also got a bit choked up when reflecting on the special night.

Country icon Garth Brooks will be honored at the Kennedy Centers Honors airing this Sunday on CBS.
(Roy Rochlin/WireImage)

“I’m already wishing I had a mask on so I could do this,” Brooks continued as he placed his hand over his face to avoid showing emotion. “And then the whole band kicks in. It’s just so pretty.”

“The Dance” has also been quite a special tune for Clarkson amid her divorce from her ex-husband Brandon Blackstock, she revealed last year on her talk show. At the time, Clarkson said that she was feeling “shame and guilt” amid her split, especially as people send books and such to help her cope.

“I was just kind of working through it and I couldn’t quite nail down the feeling,” she said, adding that she doesn’t want to “crap on” her marriage. “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.”

By chance, she stumbled upon a song of Brooks’, a fellow divorcee, which helped her grasp what she was feeling.

“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,'” shared the “Since U Been Gone” singer. “So I literally — it’s not like your song, like a rip-off — I literally wrote this whole thing, therapeutically for me and it’s actually on my next album …”

Clarkson even sang the hook of the song on-air: “Even though my heart is broken / it was worth the dance anyway.”

Viewers tuning in to the Sunday show will also see celebrities Vanessa Hudgens, Pentatonix, Gladys Knight, Derek Hough, Emmylou Harris, Jimmie Allen and Yo-Yo Ma take the stage.

In a clip released by ET, Hough, who paid tribute to Van Dyke, voiced concern about his suit being “very tight.”

“This gonna pop. This suit. If I even go like that, I just heard a stitch go pop,” he laughed.

Gloria Estefan, a past honoree, served as host of the Kennedy Center Honors. She expressed her delight in getting invited, calling the show an “amazing gig.”

Fox News’ Nate Day contributed to this report.

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