Clarkson also revealed that she wrote a song inspired by “The Dance” on her upcoming ninth studio album. The 39-year-old star sang the tag of the unreleased track, “Even though my heart is broken, it was worth the dance anyway.”
She told Entertainment Tonight about how “nervous” she felt singing “The Dance” in front of Brooks 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 admitted. But she melted the 59-year-old country singer’s heart with her rendition featuring a full band.
“It’s just so pretty. That woman is a true friend to a song. She’s amazing,” the country star told ET.
Brooks will be honored alongside Debbie Allen, Joan Baez, Dick Van Dyke and Midori at this year’s Kennedy Center, which Gloria Estefan will host for the second time. In addition to Clarkson, Derek Hough, Vanessa Hudgens, Pentatonix, Gladys Knight, Emmylou Harris, Jimmie Allen and Yo-Yo Ma will perform tributes to the honorees.
The 2021 Kennedy Center Honors will air on Sunday, June 6, at 8 p.m. ET on CBS. It will also stream on Paramount+.
Watch a clip of Clarkson’s cover bringing Brooks nearly to tears below, and check out the full performance when the ceremony airs.