Jay Leno has, once again, left the building, and he was helped along the way by one of country music’s biggest stars.
The face and voice of NBC’s The Tonight Show for most of the last 22 years (save a brief interlude in 2009), Leno hosted his final show last night (Feb. 6). And as you might imagine, he went out with a string of high-profile guests. During last night’s show, along with Billy Crystal (who was also Leno’s first guest back in 1992), Leno invited his favorite singer, Garth Brooks, along for the ride as well.
Brooks (who himself is in the midst of a full-fledged career comeback) took the stage in a black western shirt, loose jeans and a black ballcap that read “Garth Brooks World Tour.” Playing an acoustic guitar and fronting a full band, he performed a moving version of his signature 1990 No. 1 hit, “The Dance.” Watch it below:
Before he performed, Brooks took the mic to praise Leno. “The dearest friend to entertainment I am staring at right now,” Brooks said. “You never chose any special format over another, you never chose a network over another. If you were an entertainer and needed a friend, you were always it. I love you with all my heart.”
Jimmy Fallon takes over as host of The Tonight Show starting Feb. 17.