Garth Brooks gets Gershwin Prize March 29 on PBS, all-star concert filmed 3 weeks ago

Garth Brooks may delight in singing his signature song ‘Friends in Low Places,’ but he’s not fooling anybody. Brooks has lots of friend in high places, enough to receive the 2020 Library of Congress Gershwin Prize for Popular Song.

(PhotoCredit: Courtesy of Scott Henrichsen/PBS)

The celebration airs on PBS March 29, 2020 as a 90-minute all-star tribute concert, which was filmed live just three weeks ago, March 4, before the news of the coronavirus pandemic escalated.

The joyful concert features performances by Keith Urban, Ricky Skaggs, Chris Stapleton, Keb’ Mo’, Lee Brice, host Jay Leno and the Howard University Choir, as well as Brooks and his wife, Trisha Yearwood. The tribute was recorded at Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) Constitution Hall in Washington, D.C.

Brooks is the youngest recipient of the prestigious award and the honoree said, “An award is only as good as the names on it. First off, for any musician, the name Gershwin says it all. Add to Ira’s and George’s names, the names of the past recipients, and you have an award of the highest honor. I am truly humbled.”

Brooks has been a game-changer in the history of country music. His music weaves the beauty of poetry, the universality of the human experience and the inclusiveness of other music genres, making him one of the most influential performers in music today. He has combined the sound of traditional country music with the performance style of arena rock legends of the 1970s, creating a unique artistic vision.

Brooks’ first number one single, “If Tomorrow Never Comes,” set the stage for him as a songwriter and showed his knack for expressing very personal feelings that touch on universal truths. The songs that he has written, as well as those he has chosen to record, have often moved beyond the traditional subject matter for country music, such as “We Shall Be Free,” which won a GLADD Media Award in 1993 for addressing homophobia, homelessness and racism.

The entertainment icon has built a loyal fan base, not only through his music, but also his charity work, including his foundation “Teammates for Kids.” He received the inaugural George H. W. Bush Points of Light Award for Caring and Compassion to celebrate his humanitarian efforts.

Bestowed in recognition of the legendary songwriting team of George and Ira Gershwin, the Gershwin Prize recognizes a living musical artist’s lifetime achievement in promoting the genre of song as a vehicle of entertainment, information, inspiration and cultural understanding. Previous recipients are Paul Simon, Stevie Wonder, Sir Paul McCartney, songwriting duo Burt Bacharach and the late Hal David, Carole King, Billy Joel, Willie Nelson, Smokey Robinson, Tony Bennett and Emilio and Gloria Estefan.

The PBS special includes a great performance by Garth Brooks and features tributes from family, friends and admirers. The show will also be broadcast at a later date via the American Forces Network to American service men and women and civilians at U.S. Department of Defense locations around the world.

The live taping at DAR Constitution Hall. (PhotoCredit: Courtesy of Scott Henrichsen/PBS)

Garth Brooks: The Library of Congress Gershwin Prize for Popular Song is a co-production of WETA. Tune in.

Margie Barron has written for a wide variety of outlets including Gannett newspapers, Nickelodeon, Tiger Beat and 16 Magazine, Fresh!, Senior Life, Production Update, airline magazines, etc. Margie is also proud to have been half of the husband & wife writing team Frank & Margie Barron, who had written together for various entertainment and travel publications for more than 38 years.