Country music legend Garth Brooks has had countless hits and accolades throughout his career, but there is one song that holds a special place in his heart. “The Dance” was released in 1990 and quickly became one of Brooks’ most popular songs. Over the years, many artists have covered the emotional ballad, but it’s Kelly Clarkson’s rendition that really seems to hit home for Brooks.
During an interview with ET in 2019, Brooks opened up about his emotional reaction to Clarkson’s performance of “The Dance.” He revealed that he first saw her sing the song during the series finale of American Idol in 2016. “She starts singing it and I thought, ‘Oh my god,'” Brooks said. “I’m sitting there, trying to go, ‘OK, you’re Garth Brooks. You’ve been doing this forever. Don’t cry now.’ And then she hit this chorus, and about killed me.”
Clarkson’s powerful vocals and emotional delivery of the song clearly touched Brooks deeply. He went on to explain how “The Dance” still affects him after all these years: “It’s kinda strange when you write a song, you pour your heart into it and you think it’s gonna change the world. And then what happens is, it does for about five minutes,” Brooks said. “But every night when you’re on stage and you see people react to it, you realize it’s the soundtrack to their lives.”
It’s clear that “The Dance” has become more than just a song for Brooks, and it’s clear that Clarkson’s rendition moved him in a profound way. As he continues to tour and perform, it’s likely that he’ll continue to be touched by this timeless ballad and its impact on his fans.