The holiday season will look very different for many people this year with COVID-19 restricting travel and keeping people from joining their loved ones in person.
Garth Brooks and Trisha Yearwood are no exception, but they are bringing a bit of Christmas cheer from a safe social distance on Sunday with Garth and Trisha Live! A Holiday Concert Event, which will air live on CBS.
The format, which will be audience-free, will be similar to the couple’s CBS special in April, during which they took requests. This time, the focus will be on holiday songs, though Brooks tells Billboard, “If things get silly and things go to ‘I’ve got friends in low ho ho places,’ I think you can try to stretch to try to get music from an artist you want to hear on a Christmas special.”
The pair’s spring CBS concert drew more than 5.65 million viewers and earned a repeat on the network. In addition, they and CBS donated $1 million to charities fighting the COVID-19 virus.
“[CBS executive] Jack Sussman was sweet enough to say, ‘Hey, man, we should do another one.’ Our thought was we’re promoting two albums, Fun and Triple Live Deluxe, but it got so close to Christmas, we said, ‘Let’s just keep it to holiday stuff,’” Brooks says.
Brooks says the two won’t limit themselves to their recorded holiday output, which includes their holiday duets album, 2016’s Christmas Together; his two solo Christmas albums, 1992’s Beyond the Season and 1999’s Garth Brooks & the Magic of Christmas; or her 1994 solo album, The Sweetest Gift. “Hopefully, there will be some stuff that we’ve never recorded,” Brooks says. “We’re just looking at the requests as they come in.”
Though the special will start at 8 p.m. ET, Brooks adds that he and Yearwood will likely sign on to his Facebook page 30 minutes to an hour beforehand, so people can start enjoying the performance before they switch to CBS.
Fans may even see the two perform Brooks’ favorite holiday song, José Feliciano’s “Feliz Navidad.” “I’ve loved it ever since I was a little kid,” he says. “It’s so fun and upbeat. It’s not like the old traditional classics you hear when you’re little.”
Brooks and Yearwood are usually joined by his three grown daughters for the holidays, but because of coronavirus, it will just be the two of them. “My favorite Christmas tradition is decorating the tree with the girls, always. We’ve done it since they were babies,” he says. “They always decorate the tree, we tell stories. With COVID, we’re not getting together this year, so it’s no tree. We’ve got one outside that we put lights on, but no ornaments, but the tree that sits inside right where I’m staring won’t be there and it’s to honor that tradition. It makes me sad, but it makes me love that we’re not going to do it without them.”