Brooks, who was inducted along with veteran singer Connie Smith and keyboard player Hargus "Pig" Robbins, was serenaded first by Strait, who sang Brooks's tune, "Much Too Young (To Feel This Old)." He was followed by Taylor, who did another Brooks co-composition, "The River"--along with Brooks's wife Trisha Yearwood on backing vocals. Finally, the audience--and Brooks--was surprised once again by Seger's appearance, performing a third Brooks co-composition, "That Summer."
All three musicians paid homage to Brooks by describing him in glowing terms. Both Seger and Strait noted the Oklahoma singer's passion as an outstanding trait: "He's just never afraid to be passionate," said Seger, while Strait added "I think passion best describes him. He's got it."
As for Taylor, he related getting a call from Yearwood asking if he'd perform at the induction. "God, I wouldn't miss it," he told the audience.
Strait, who is Brooks's particular role model, took the honor of putting the official medallion around Brooks's neck. He related, "You just brought so many new fans to our music. It helped all of us."
An emotional Brooks then addressed the crowd, thanking God and his parents, and relating how much the music of Taylor, Seger, and Strait meant to him personally. "I wanted to be George Strait so bad," he admitted of his early musical ambitions.
Brooks capped off his speech by thanking Yearwood and his three daughters--"You are the greatest things in my life"--and noted a Bible passage that claims a man can make it to heaven through his wife. "I've got to say, Miss Yearwood, you're my only shot."
- Arts & Entertainment
- George Strait
- Bob Seger
- James Taylor
- Trisha Yearwood