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Garth Brooks Tips a Hat to Billy Joel With Two Covers at Kennedy Center Honors

Garth Brooks was welcomed to the Kennedy Center Stage to pay tribute to a special award recipient once again in 2013. On Sunday (Dec. 29), Brooks had the opportunity to honor Billy Joel with a once-in-a-lifetime performance.

An enthusiastic crowd, including Joel himself, welcomed Brooks to the stage for the third time. In the past, the country superstar has also honored George Jones and Loretta Lynn. Brooks wore all black as he closed out 2013, sporting a black cowboy hat to sing Joel’s ‘Allentown’ and ‘Goodnight Saigon.’

“I’ve been very, very lucky that the three times I’ve done it now, with Billy being the third, these were all epic, iconic heroes that influenced my life and my music,” Brooks says.

The country singer was just one of the many talented performers who honored Joel over the weekend. Rufus Wainwright, Don Henely and Brendon Urie from Panic! at the Disco also performed some of Joel’s most famous and iconic music.

“His catalog is so deep, you could have taken the six or seven songs that we did for a tribute to him, wipe them out and put six or seven more Billy Joel songs in there, and I don’t think you would notice a difference,” Brooks continues Joel. “You’ll be stunned if you look up and actually see how many Billy Joel songs you know and that you really loved.”

2013 Kennedy Center Honors were also awarded to Shirley MacLaine, Carlos Santana, Herbie Hancock, Martina Arroyo and Teresa Heinz Kerry.

Next: Are These Garth Brooks' Best Rock Covers?

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