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Garth Brooks, Darius Rucker, Sheryl Crow Tribute James Taylor at Kennedy Center Honors [WATCH]

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An all-star lineup including Garth Brooks, Darius Rucker and Sheryl Crow teamed up to honor James Taylor at the 2016 Kennedy Center Honors. Readers can click play on the videos in this post to see the country stars honor the living legend … Brooks even tears up during his performance!

Along with spoken tributes from cellist Yo-Yo Ma and former president Bill Cinton, Rucker, Crow and Brooks lauded Taylor with their own takes on some of the artist’s classic songs: Rucker performed pieces from Taylor’s 1970 hit “Sweet Baby James” and 1968’s “Carolina in My Mind,” the latter of which was one of the first recordings of Taylor’s career. Then, backed by Taylor’s own band, Crow took the stage to sing 1970’s “Fire and Rain,” with Taylor beaming throughout her performance.

Brooks, meanwhile, performed a touching rendition of Taylor’s song “Shower the People,” a track that first gained notoriety in 1976; joined by a beautiful choir, and with his wife Trisha Yearwood singing along in the audience, Brooks even got choked up halfway through the song. Finally, Brooks, Crow and Rucker joined together onstage for “How Sweet It Is (to Be Loved By You),” bringing the audience to their feet.

Brooks and Yearwood recently teamed up with Taylor for a track on their 2016 Christmas album: The iconic folk singer joins the couple on “What I’m Thankful For.”

“What a great artist,” Brooks says to Taste of Country of Taylor. “Why I got into music was James Taylor, so to see him be a real, down-to-Earth guy that’s unbelievably talented … then to hear him sing those lyrics of “What I’m Thankful For,” which is a song Ms. Yearwood and I got to write together, that was definitely a highlight of my recording life.”

In addition to Taylor, Mavis Staples, the Eagles, pianist Martha Argerich and actor Al Pacino were honored at the 2016 Kennedy Center Honors, which aired on Dec. 27.

Watch Garth Brooks, Darius Rucker and Sheryl Crow Honor James Taylor at the 2016 Kennedy Center Honors

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