Garth Brooks Honors Nashville Tornado Victims During Gershwin Prize Acceptance Speech [WATCH]
Garth Brooks paid tribute to those affected by the tornado that hit Nashville on Tuesday morning (March 3) in his Gershwin Prize for Popular Song acceptance speech on Wednesday night (March 4). Press play above to watch.
Before thanking his family and fans, Brooks started off by acknowledging those affected by the tragedy. “In honor of our sweet, sweet Volunteers from the great state of Tennessee, I’m going to request, humbly, a moment of silence for those who have fallen and those who are still missing," Brooks told the audience.
"The whole band, the crew, all the people that made this happen, are living our lives on the phones right now, concerned about the hometown of country music, which is Nashville," he continued.
Twenty-four people were killed when the Tuesday morning storm made its way through Middle Tennessee, injuring more than 100 people and destroying hundreds of homes and businesses. Shortly after the storm hit, Brooks shared an image of the now-destroyed music venue the Basement East, along with some thoughts.
"Seeing the responses 'I’m here for you' 'Do you need a place to stay?' ... This community comes together to take care of its own," he wrote in the Instagram photo's caption. "So proud to be part of the family we call Nashville. All of our love and strength to those who have lost so much. #NashvilleStrong"
Brooks, an Oklahoma native, also sat down with CBS Evening News' Norah O'Donnell to talk about the storm and its impact on his adopted hometown. "I am not a native son of Nashville, but they have taken me in and treated me like a native son," he reflected.
"For those that have passed ... never forget, always honor," Brooks added. "Nashville will do that and do it well."
The Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee, Hands on Nashville and other organizations are organizing donations and volunteers during tornado relief efforts. Click here for more information on how you can help.
Brooks was awarded the Gershwin Prize during a tribute concert in Washington, DC; the award, given by the Library of Congress, celebrates achievements in songwriting and its impact on popular culture. He is the youngest-ever recipient of the honor.
Fans can see Brooks' full Gershwin Prize acceptance speech, along with special performances in his honor, when Garth Brooks: The Library of Congress Gershwin Prize for Popular Song airs at 9PM ET on March 29 on PBS.
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