Garth Brooks and Don Henley Perform Billy Joel’s Songs at Kennedy Center Honors [Video]
The gala, which took place Dec. 8, was televised on CBS Sunday night.
Singer Tony Bennett inducted Joel with a six-minute presentation that included the singer-songwriter’s biography, recollections by Bennett (who’s performed with Joel) and video clips of Joel that spanned the past 40 years.
Bennett highlighted Joel’s “great songs on subjects from love to war, from triumph and to loss, and stories about ordinary people with extraordinary emotions,” he said. “And he puts them to tunes that you can’t get out of your head.”
And for the next 15 minutes, Henley, Brooks and Rufus Wainwright paid tribute to Joel with a handful of those songs. Henley performed “She’s Got a Way,” while Brooks performed a medley of “Allentown” and “Goodnight Saigon.”
Wainwright concluded the tribute with a medley of “New York State of Mind” and “Piano Man,” which turned into a sing-along for the audience gathered at the Kennedy Center. You can see clips of Brooks’ and Wainwright’s performances below.
Musicians Martina Arroyo, Herbie Hancock and Carlos Santana were also honored at the gala, as was actress Shirley MacLaine.
Watch Garth Brooks Perform ‘Allentown’ and ‘Goodnight Saigon’
Watch Rufus Wainwright Perform ‘New York State of Mind’ and ‘Piano Man’