Garth Brooks still doesn't want CMA voters to consider him for Entertainer of the Year.
During an online press conference on July 29, 2020, the country superstar, who's won country music's top prize a record-breaking seven times, told the media and fans he's removing his name from the running for the award. Right over a year later, Brooks doubled down on this request at a July 30, 2021 press conference for his Stadium Tour stop in Nashville, which got rained out and postponed the following night.
"I don't want to take a spot in that final five," Brooks said. "The stand is still the same."
Brooks said he began considering removing his name from the running after winning Entertainer of the Year at the 2019 CMA awards. Brooks won that year over Carrie Underwood, Eric Church, Keith Urban and Chris Stapleton.
"It's time for somebody else to hold that award," Brooks said during the July 2020 press conference.
The singer said it was a message he read on social media that influenced his decision.
'There's one tweet in there that really stuck in my head," Brooks said. "It said, 'Hey, man. This guy, why doesn't he just step down [and leave] the entertainer for the next generation?' One-hundred percent agree."
Watch Brooks' 2020 press conference below.
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Posted by Garth Brooks on Wednesday, July 29, 2020
Brooks' 2019 win sparked debate among country music fans. Many believed the award should go to Underwood, due in part to her highly successful Cry Pretty 360 Tour. Others thought Church was overdue to win the award. In November of 2019, Church even addressed Brooks' win onstage.
During Church's cover of Waylon Jennings' "Are You Sure Hank Done it This Way?" Church sings "I know Garth didn't do it this way" before sharing a laugh with his bandmates.
Brooks later addressed Church's comments, explaining that he understands the passion among Church's fanbase as well as his own.
"If our name hadn't been called then in Knoxville there would've been signs everywhere [saying] 'You're the Entertainer of a Lifetime.' It brings you closer to your team," Brooks said, adding that Church's Entertainer of the Year win will happen one day. "Those guys will keep going and the year that he wins it, it will be the sweetest year for him."
Church won Entertainer of the Year in 2020.
This article was originally published in July of 2020.