Garth Brooks, in case you’ve been wondering, is still Garth Brooks. Meaning, the guy can still throw down a show-stopping performance, command an arena stage no matter how many millions of people are watching in person and on TV, and pull at heartstrings with words and music built out of real, honest human emotion.

For his performance tonight at the 50th ACM Awards, Brooks chose “All-American Kid,” a new song written by Craig Campbell that appears on Brooks’ 2014 album Man Against Machine.

READ MORE: MDTA Police Look For Vehicles Involved In Suspected Road Rage Shooting

It’s a touching song that Brooks handled masterfully, keeping things low key but making sure the words—about a high school football hero who joins the military and then pays the ultimate price—cut right to the core.

READ MORE: Maryland Weather: Severe Storm Threat and Flood Alert Prompts Alert Day Saturday

Related: The 2015 ACM Awards Live Blog

The performance was given added poignancy, though, when it was introduced by Taya Kyle, the widow of the late Chris Kyle of American Sniper fame.

MORE NEWS: Maryland Weather: Severe Storm Threat Prompts Alert Day Saturday

Read more on Radio.com.