On Wednesday night (Nov. 14), Garth Brooks debuted a new song for his wife, Trisha Yearwood, at the 2018 CMA Awards. The song, "Stronger Than Me," reflects on a woman's strength -- "You know, I always thought I had to have the answers / Be her strength and take the lead / When it comes to anything that matters / You're stronger than me" -- and Yearwood says it's the song's final line that means the most to her.

The final line of "Stronger Than Me" goes “I pray God takes me first ‘cause you’re stronger than me.” Yearwood tells ET it reflects a conversation she and Brooks have had before.

"It’s like, 'I can’t, I hope I go first,'" she says, "and he’s like, ‘No, I have to go first. I can’t. I won’t be able to.'"

Just like the rest of the audience, Yearwood was hearing "Stronger Than Me" for the very first time on Wednesday night. Backstage, she admitted that she was having a tough time holding it together as she sat in the front row for the performance.

"Girls know this, when you’re about to cry and it wells up and then it kind of subsides a little and you’re like, ‘OK,’ and then it wells up again,” she said. “It didn’t fall and go all the way down my chin and down to my shirt until the end, but it was beautiful!”

Yearwood added that she was going to make Brooks sing the song again for her at home "so I could cry very ugly. ‘Cause I was like, ‘Keep it together, keep it together' [during the broadcast]."

“I'm going to kiss your face," Yearwood told Brooks backstage after the performance. "That was so beautiful."

For his part, Brooks shared backstage that he nearly got cold feet leading up to the big moment: "The closer I got, the more I thought it was a bad idea," he recalled. "Because she's not a big surprise girl."

Even so, the singer says that he's glad he performed the song the way he did, because it was important to him, not only in terms of his career, but also in terms of his relationship with Yearwood. Brooks explained that the song spoke to two specific aspects of his marriage, although he wouldn't specify what those aspects were. "This song is going to make our relationship better, whether it does anything in the music industry or not," Brooks explains.

Following the 2018 CMA Awards, Brooks released his live performance of "Stronger Than Me" as a single to country radio.

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