Eric Church Calls Out Garth Brooks, Says ‘Music Is Not Awards’

Eric Church returned to the road over the weekend following last week’s CMA Awards where Garth Brooks took home a…

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Lauren Jo Black

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November 18, 2019

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Eric Church; Photo by Andrew Wendowski

Eric Church returned to the road over the weekend following last week’s CMA Awards where Garth Brooks took home a win in the coveted Entertainer of the Year category and seemed to address the much-buzzed-about win during his live show.

While performing at The Anthem in Washington D.C., the superstar called out Brooks, who beat out Church, Carrie Underwood, Chris Stapleton and Keith Urban, during a cover of  Waylon Jennings’ 1975 hit “Are You Sure Hank Done It This Way.” Church used the opportunity to change the lyrics of the final verse to: “And I know Garth didn’t do it this way.” Church smirked as the crowd cheered. Click the below clip to watch it all go down.

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That same night, the superstar addressed the crowd to share his thoughts on what music means to him during his performance of his 2012 hit, “Springsteen.”

“So this song, I’ve mentioned every night, it’s about the power of what music can do, and here’s the thing about music, everybody’s got to understand this,” he told the crowd in a video obtained by Whiskey Riff. “Music is not awards, it’s not number ones, it’s not albums sold… music is the power of freezing a moment in time that we will remember forever.”

He continued, “No matter how old we are, 30 years from now, when we hear that song, we’re 17 again, we’re 30 again, we’re 40 again, that’s what music does. The rest of it ain’t worth sh** guys, it ain’t worth sh**. The reason I ever played guitar for the first time was for the power of music, for what tonight is as I look around this room. You can have everything else, I’ll f*cking take this right here.”

Leading up to The 53rd Annual CMA Awards, Church and Underwood were believed by many to be the frontrunners for the Entertainer of the Year category. Brooks ended up taking home the trophy, marking his seventh win in the category overall and his third CMA Entertainer of the Year win four years.

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Lauren Jo Black

Written by

Lauren Jo Black

Lauren Jo Black, a University of Central Florida graduate, has immersed herself in the world of country music for over 15 years. In 2008, she co-founded CountryMusicIsLove, eventually selling it to a major record label in 2015. Following the rebranding of the website to Sounds Like Nashville, Black served as Editor-in-Chief for two and a half years. Currently, she assumes the role of Editor-in-Chief at Country Now and oversees Country Now’s content and digital footprint. Her extensive experience also encompasses her previous role as a Country Music Expert Writer for Answers.com and her work being featured on Forbes.com. She’s been spotlighted among Country Aircheck’s Women of Influence and received the 2012 Rising Star Award from the University of Central Florida. Black also spent time in front of the camera as host of Country Now Live, which brought live music directly to fans in 2021 when the majority of concerts were halted due to the pandemic. During this time, she hosted 24 weeks of live concerts via Country Now Live on Twitch with special guests such as Lady A, Dierks Bentley, Jordan Davis, Brett Young, and Jon Pardi. Over the course of her career, she has had the privilege of conducting interviews with some of the industry’s most prominent stars, including Reba McEntire, Blake Shelton, Luke Combs, Carrie Underwood, Luke Bryan, Miranda Lambert, Lainey Wilson, and many others. Lauren Jo Black is a longtime member of the Country Music Association and the Academy of Country Music.