Last month, we shared that Garth Brooks had a sweet surprise planned for his wife Trisha Yearwood at the CMA Awards.
The country star teased a new love song he had written, calling it "maybe the most well-written thing I’ve ever had to lend my voice to. It’s beautiful."
But Brooks worried he would not get the chance to perform the song the way he wanted - alone, on stage, singing to Trisha Yearwood so she could hear it live for the first time.
"I won’t play it for anybody else because it’s a song, you’re not going to believe it’s written by guys, it’s a song about the strength of a woman. And for me, that’s Trisha," Brooks had explained.
While country fans loved the idea from the start, Brooks said that the CMA producers weren’t keen on making time in the show's busy schedule for a ballad they had never heard before.
"They’ve been very sweet. They kinda came back and said, 'Hey look, something new that’s a ballad probably doesn’t work for us,'" he said.
But, thankfully, Brooks must have pulled a few strings.
He did get to perform the new song at last night's CMA Awards, and the audience was stunned by his new song, "Stronger Than Me."
Brooks performed with his eyes on Yearwood the whole time, and she was in tears by the end of the song.
The singer had always insisted no one would hear the song before he performed it live for the first time, and before the show Yearwood confirmed with People she did not know what to expect.
"I have no idea what’s going to happen," she told People.
And Yearwood wasn’t the only one impressed by the new song, as the crowd at the CMAs actually gave Brooks a standing ovation.
The singer insisted he didn’t cry, but he was obviously overcome by emotion as he sang the song’s last lines:
"I pray God takes me first, because you’re stronger than me."
Backstage, after the song debuted, Brooks said that Yearwood had "lost a bet" when the song moved her to tears. Still, until the very last moment, Brooks admitted he thought about calling off the performance.
"The closer I got, the more I thought it was a bad idea," he said, "because she’s not a big surprise girl."
Brooks also opened the CMA Awards earlier that night, announcing a moment of silence in honor of last week's Borderline Bar & Grill shooting victims.
"Tonight, let’s celebrate their lives. Let the music unite us with love, and their enduring memory," he said, before a list of the victims’ names was projected on a screen.