On Wednesday night, NBC's America's Got Talent contestant Michael Ketterer sang a track written just for him by the legendary Garth Brooks. Ketterer performed "The Courage to Love" with a simple piano accompaniment that filled the vast theater and touched millions of viewers watching at home.
When America's Got Talent judge Simon Cowell previously asked Brooks on air to pen a song for Ketterer, it must have seemed like a lofty dream for the pediatric mental health nurse and father of six. But Brooks delivered quickly, chatting to Ketterer from Inside Studio G about the song and adding the message "hug your babies," in Brooks' quintessentially sweet way.
With a love for country music, Ketterer emotionally sang the song that Brooks wrote without skimping on depth. "The hardest thing you'll ever do is tell someone you're sorry/ You'll never be the bravest man if you can't admit you're scared," the lyrics read, giving Ketterer plenty of complexity within the track to draw emotion from and connect to as a 41-year-old man. "You are a songwriter's dream. You make a simple song a great song," Brooks later tweeted at Ketterer.
"I cannot tell you how much I love you for what you just did for this man," Cowell said to Brooks after Ketterer performed, calling him a "gentleman and a star." Closing the segment, host Tyra Banks told the audience to head over to Amazon.com to download a free copy of Brooks' new 3-album project, Triple Live, for a limited time.
Sadly, Ketterer didn't end up winning. He came in fifth place, as magician Shin Lim took the top rank. This slightly disappointed Cowell who had a soft spot for Ketterer and even used his Golden Buzzer to save him during the auditions. But the future is already looking bright for the talented singer. Ketterer will join Brooks on stage at his Notre Dame stadium show on Oct. 20.