When she finally got to see him perform for the first time this weekend in Lexington, 9-year-old Brooklynn Goodin started to get discouraged when Brad Paisley didn’t play her favorite song. But then something unexpected happened.
Brooklynn was surprised with tickets for the show by her grandmother, Elsie Dowelll, the night before Paisley’s Saturday performance at Red, White and Boom at Rupp Arena. Her biggest hope was that he’d sing his 2004 song “Whiskey Lullaby.”
“I don’t know what it is, but that song got her,” said Rebecca Adkins, Brooklyn’s mother. “It was 2013, she was almost five, Whiskey Lullaby came on (the radio) and she’s liked it ever since.”
About halfway through his set, Brooklynn was starting to worry Paisley wouldn’t get to the song. But she quickly forgot that worry when Paisley walked over to her, signed her hat and gave her his guitar.
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“He said, ‘make sure you learn how to play that,’ and she was so excited and happy,” Adkins said. “He told her she was going to be the next Taylor Swift, breaking boys’ hearts.”
Brooklynn said during a phone interview Sunday that the whole experience was like a fairytale.
“I was shocked,” she said. “I thought it was like my dream coming true.”
The next day, Brooklynn wasn’t entirely sure it had all been real, Adkins said.
“She woke up the next morning and asked if she was dreaming or if it really happened,” Adkins said.
The night had been real, and it had left Brooklynn with a new goal. She had always been interested in playing the guitar, but now she’s more determined, Adkins said.
The two didn’t realize it until the drive back home, but taped to the back of the instrument was a gift card for guitar lessons, Adkins said.
Getting the guitar back to the car after the concert was a bit of a challenge, Adkins said. One woman offered Brooklyn $500 on the spot for it, and another man offered her $1,000.
“She said she wouldn’t let it go for a million dollars,” Adkins said. “So I think it’s kind of stuck here.”
In the end, even though Paisley didn’t end up singing her favorite song, Brooklynn had no complaints.
“Honestly, we just took her hoping she’d have a good time,” Adkins said. “And it was more than I could have even expected for her. It’s definitely something that she’ll never forget.”