Garth Brooks Permanently Bows Out of the CMA Entertainer of the Year Category

After winning his seventh CMA Entertainer of the Year trophy at the CMA Awards last fall, Garth Brooks is permanently…


Lauren Jo Black

| Posted on

July 29, 2020


11:02 am

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Garth Brooks; Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images for The Recording Academy

After winning his seventh CMA Entertainer of the Year trophy at the CMA Awards last fall, Garth Brooks is permanently removing himself from the category.

The worldwide superstar revealed the news during a press conference on Wednesday morning (July 29), telling members of the press “it’s time for somebody else to hold that award.”

He went on to share that the backlash he received following his big win prompted him to make the request to the Country Music Association.

“You pretty much saw what happened after the CMAs, all the way through the new year. It got a little — it wasn’t fun, let’s put it that way,” Brooks acknowledged. “But there was one tweet that really stuck in my head,” he added, revealing that the Tweet suggested that he step aside and let someone else win.

He revealed that he “100-percent agreed” with the thought and shared that he does not want to “seem ungrateful.”

During the press conference, he revealed that this announcement was originally planned for CMA Fest, but due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the announcement was put on hold. He felt like this is the right time to reveal his decision as the CMA nomination period is quickly approaching.

Although he admitted he is “extremely competitive,” Brooks said that his previous wins “mean the world to me … It’s just, with Entertainer, we’ve been lucky enough to carry that home a number of times, and feel like it’s somebody else’s turn.”

In 2019, Brooks took home the night’s top honor although Eric Church and Carrie Underwood were favored by many. Following the show, there was quite a bit of backlash on social media and Brooks says that’s what led to this decision.

“With all the love in the world, we are officially pulling ourselves out of Entertainer of the Year,” he said.

Garth Brooks’ had a stadium tour planned for 2020, but those previously announced shows have been postponed due to the coronavirus. Although Brooks said he isn’t quite sure when he will return to the stage, he said he’s hopeful that the tour will resume in 2021.

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Lauren Jo Black

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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 and her work being featured on 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.