Remember When Garth Brooks Refused His American Music Award?

Garth Brooks is one of the biggest country stars literally of all time. Heck, he's one of the biggest recording artists ever. So when Garth Brooks won the American Music Awards Artist of the Year award in 1996, it wasn't too shocking. Why wouldn't he clean up at the AMAs? While Brooks was happy to take home the award for Favorite Country Album, Favorite Male Country Artist, and more, the country star couldn't bring himself to accept the award for Favorite Artist of the Year on ABC's awards show, which aired from Los Angeles.

Brooks was "voted" Favorite Artist of the Year at the 1996 AMAs, beating out fellow nominees Hootie & the Blowfish, Boyz II Men, Green Day and TLC. But the thing is, the Oklahoma native didn't believe he was the artist of the year. From talking to record store owners and country music retailers Brooks knew that Hootie & the Blowfish was what kept them in business that year. 

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Because Brooks was so thankful for everything the pop/rock and country act had done for the genre, the entertainer refused to take an award that he felt they deserved. Music fans everywhere had decided they loved Hootie and Brooks decided the band deserved to be recognized.

Craziest of all, all the other artists thought it was a great idea. Boyz II Men's manager claimed the group was blown away by the gesture. Even the founder of the AMAs, Dick Clark, called the move a stroke of genius and told Brooks his award would be put into storage. (Apparently, he can get it whenever he wants?)

Brooks has always been known as a gracious artist, especially to new artists, so it's no surprise he would pull a move that classy. Just another legendary moment in the career of a legendary man. As if we needed even more reasons to love the one and only Garth Brooks.

Brooks extended a similarly gracious gesture in 2020 when he pulled his name from the running for Entertainer of the Year at the CMA Awards, which take place in Nashville, Tennessee. After winning the coveted award seven times, he decided it was someone else's turn. As one of the most successful recording artists of all time, Brooks has won countless awards, including 23 Academy of Country Music Awards, 17 Billboard Music Awards, 14 CMA Awards, two Grammy Awards and more. Brooks' successful career boasts country radio hits including "Friends In Low Places," "The Dance," "The Thunder Rolls," and many more. The country superstar has collaborated with a multitude of artists, including Blake Shelton and his wife and fellow singer, Trisha Yearwood.

This post was originally published on August 26, 2019.

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