Garth Brooks Withdraws From CMA Entertainer Of The Year Category

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Garth Brooks announced he is permanently removing himself from the running for CMA Entertainer of the Year.

Brooks, who has won the award a total of seven times announced the news Wednesday morning during a press conference, saying “it’s time for somebody else to hold that award.”

He said he started thinking about this decision after the 2019 CMA Awards after criticism on how he won Entertainer of the Year over favorites Carrie Underwood and Eric Church.

“You pretty much saw what happened after the CMAs, all the way through the new year. It got a little-- it wasn’t fun, let’s put it that way,” Brooks said in the virtual press conference. “But there was one tweet that really stuck in my head. It said, ‘Hey, man. This guy, why doesn’t he just step down (and leave) the entertainer for the next generation?’”

Brooks said he agreed with the idea, saying, “The last thing I want to do is seem ungrateful to the CMAs and everybody that has voted for us,” he continued. “We are officially pulling ourselves out of entertainer of the year. And my number is seven, you guys know that. And we feel very lucky with seven. And it’s time for somebody else to hold that award, know what that entertainer feels like. Because they’re all out there busting their butts.”

Although Brooks is stepping back from this award, he does still want to be considered for other CMA Awards.

“I’m extremely competitive,” Brooks says, adding that his previous wins, “mean the world to me...It’s just, with Entertainer, we’ve been lucky enough to carry that home a number of times, and feel like it’s somebody else’s turn.”