NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Garth Brooks says he’s never seen anything like the reaction he’s gotten since it was announced that he will share the stage tonight with George Strait for the first time during the Academy of Country Music Awards (CBS, 8 o’clock).

Brooks and Strait will pay tribute to the show’s late executive producer Dick Clark.

“Everywhere I go, restaurants, stores, whatever — ‘Hey, you’re gonna be singing with George.’ ‘Hey, we can’t wait to see you with George,’” Brooks said. “It’s so cool. It’s like getting to sing with someone that’s attained a level that you only get if you die. They love him and worship him and I’m in line with everybody else.”