Trisha Yearwood Needed to Catch Up to Garth Brooks

"He's Been Holding It Over My Head," She Laughed

On Monday night (Nov. 2), right before Trisha Yearwood was going to be honored with the Voice of Music award at the 53rd annual American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers’ (ASCAP) Country Music Awards, she told me she wasn’t really ready.

“I’m not big on surprises,” she said on the red carpet, “so I am nervous.”

Right away, though, her husband Garth Brooks stepped into our interview to tell her, “You’re so worthy of what’s coming.”

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“I’m really touched,” Yearwood told me about the award, which goes to songwriters and artists whose music gives voice to the spirit of a generation. “I’ve been the biggest fan of songwriters my whole career. And this award is not about me. I just got to interpret those songs. I’m honored.”

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Yearwood and Brooks told me that it had been a long time, more than two decades, since Brooks himself was honored with the same ASCAP award, and she joked that it was about time she got hers.

“He’d won it years ago, in 1992, so I needed to catch up to him, because he’s been holding it over my head for all these years,” she laughed.

When I asked Brooks what his own ASCAP award show was like, he said it was a big night, but a big blur.

“So I am gonna enjoy this one a lot more than my own,” he said.

Dave Haywood, who gave me the top secret intel after Yearwood had cleared off the carpet, said that while there are not too many suprises in the music industry theses days, he was hoping to catch a real genuine moment of surprise when he and his band, Lady Antebellum, sang her 1992 hit “Walkaway Joe.”

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“Trisha’s been a huge influence on us, especially vocally. She lands in this really unique spot that not many people land in,” Haywood said. “That was the music we all cut our teeth on, that was what we grew up on. That ’90s country was what I spent all my hours listening to. To be able to honor that is awesome. When they asked us, all three of us said, ’Can we please, please, please do ’Walkaway Joe’?”

Alison makes her living loving country music. She's based in Chicago, but she's always leaving her heart in Nashville.