Garth Brooks said Wednesday he is out the running for Country Music Association’s (CMA) entertainer of year award (EOTY).
Brooks made the announcement during a press conference via Facebook Live, “today we humbly ask with all the gratefulness and love in the world, we are going to [pull] ourselves out of Entertainer of the Year.”
The seven-time EOTY winner said his decision was made following backlash from his win at last year’s award show, after fans called it “a slap in the face” to Carrie Underwood, who was a hopeful to win by many, including Miranda Lambert.
“There was one tweet in there that really stuck in my head,” Brooks added. “It said, ‘Hey man. This guy. Why doesn’t he step down?’ One hundred percent agreed. The last thing I want to do is seem ungrateful, to the CMAs and everybody who has voted for us. […]we are officially pulling ourselves out. It’s time for somebody else to hold that award and know what that feels like, because they’re all out there busting their butts.”
Regardless of his announcement, CMA rules dictate that Brooks must be cut from the second round of voting for nominees, which begins today.
The 2020 CMA Awards will air in November on ABC. To see Brooks’ full announcement, click here.