On Wednesday night, Garth Brooks became only the ninth artist to ever receive the Billboard Icon Award during the 2020 Billboard Music Awards.
After being introduced by Cher, the 58-year-old country superstar performed a rousing eight-song medley featuring video clips from his own live shows to feed crowd audio into the theater.
Songs included in the medley were "The Thunder Rolls," "Callin' Baton Rouge," "The River," "Standing Outside the Fire," "The Thunder Rolls," "Dive Bar" and "Friends in Low Places."
Brooks accepted his award during his energetic medley, saying, "If I would have to thank one person, it would be God almighty. Through him, all things are possible."
He then went on to thank his wife of 15 years, Trisha Yearwood — calling her the "love of my life" — as well as his three daughters whom he shares with ex-wife Sandy Mahl: Taylor, 28, August, 26, and Allie, 24.
"I will love you beyond my time here on this planet," he said before concluding, "Country radio, you gave me this. To all those people who fill those stands, thank you. Thank you for my life!"
Cher, who won the award in 2017, tweeted, "OMG, Garth’s performance was AMAZING. No One deserves this Award more than he does. His life in music made me cry I was transfixed. @garthbrooks for the @BBMAs ICON Award #BBMAs tonight on NBC."
When asked by Billboard before the awards how connection has been a through line for his career and if he was just looking for a way to connect still in 2020, he responded, "Well, aren't we all?"
"Connecting makes us throw off our defenses. So especially in this time where Republican versus Democrat, color versus color, I think what we all want when we look across at somebody else is to know I'm safe with this person and this person loves me and I love them. That's connection. So add music to it, sure, but I think I'll spend the rest of my life looking for connection."