Garth Brooks and Trisha Yearwood sing heartfelt cover of John Lennon's 'Imagine' at Rosalynn Carter's funeral

29 November 2023, 13:52

Garth Brooks and Trisha Yearwood perform at Rosalynn Carter's funeral
Garth Brooks and Trisha Yearwood perform at Rosalynn Carter's funeral. Picture: Getty

By Thomas Edward

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Rosalynn Carter impacted many people's lives.

The former First Lady was married to former President Jimmy Carter for 77 years, and consistently campaigned for women's rights and mental health causes.

One of the most universally admired couples in the history of United States politics, the Carters continued to work up until it was a physical impossibility.

At the age of 96, on Sunday 19th November 2023, Rosalynn Carter died peacefully at her home in Plains, Georgia with her family by her side.

A testament to her life's work and the many lives she made an impression on, Rosalynn's funeral was attended by a series of high-profile political figures from past and present.

There were also friends from other walks of life, namely country music superstars Garth Brooks and wife Trisha Yearwood.

Paying tribute to their dear friend who they'd become close with over the years, Brooks and Yearwood sang a gorgeous and reflective cover of John Lennon's peace anthem 'Imagine' at her memorial service.

Garth Brooks and Trisha Yearwood perform "Imagine" at memorial for Rosalynn Carter

The gentle, stripped-back performance began with just Yearwood and Brooks together - Yearwood singing lead vocals whilst Brooks stroked away softly at the acoustic guitar.

As the song played out, other musicians slowly joined in with additional choral vocals and soft piano in the background.

Many of the notable guests in attendance - such as Michelle Obama, Joe Biden, and the Clintons - weren't asked to make eulogies, as an ode to Rosalynn's modesty and taste for simplicity.

But her dear friends Brooks and Yearwood were offered the opportunity, an indication of the close bond the country music couple shared with the Carters.

Yearwood and Brooks had a shared involvement in Habitat For Humanity, a non-profit organisation which helps rejuvenate people's communities and living environments worldwide.

The Carters were long-time champions of the cause, whilst Brooks and Yearwood got involved after the devastation caused by Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

The two couples bonded and have been working frequently together since on various projects, taking over their hosting duties of the organisation's annual fundraiser whilst Jimmy and Rosalynn were in hospice.

Both Yearwood and Brooks looked emotional paying tribute to their late friend, Rosalynn Carter. (Photo by Brynn Anderson-Pool/Getty Images)
Both Yearwood and Brooks looked emotional paying tribute to their late friend, Rosalynn Carter. (Photo by Brynn Anderson-Pool/Getty Images). Picture: Getty

Brooks told CNN in October 2023: "We are here to honour their legacy and continue the work that they are continuing to do; just because they have retired from this project and are at home does not mean that they are not here, so we feel very lucky and very fortunate to still be a part of what they stand for."

Yearwood added: "And I think what they stand for is truly loving your neighbour. They are just great examples of how to be, and they fit Habitat so well because Habitat is all about helping your neighbour, about lifting each other up."

Despite being in end-of-life care in hospice since February, former President Jimmy Carter made a rare public appearance to be there at his wife's funeral. He's 99 years old.

At the time of her passing, Jimmy said in a statement: "Rosalynn was my equal partner in everything I ever accomplished."

"She gave me wise guidance and encouragement when I needed it. As long as Rosalynn was in the world, I always knew somebody loved and supported me."