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 Brooks clean up in 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.
Brooks was "voted" Favorite Artist of the Year at the 1996 AMAs, beating out Hootie & the Blowfish, Boyz II Men, Green Day and TLC. But the thing is, Brooks 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.
Because Brooks was so thankful for everything the pop/rock 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.