Brooks steps aside after seven wins
If Garth Brooks has it his way, he won’t win another CMA Entertainer of the Year trophy. During a virtual media press conference on Wednesday (July 29th), Brooks announced his withdrawal from ever being nominated again for the Country Music Association’s highest honor after winning seven times throughout his career, most recently in 2019, when controversy drew following fan backlash during a female-oriented show. He says a tweet inspired him to “make it right” and step aside.
“There’s one tweet in there that really stuck in my head. It said, ‘Hey, man. This guy, why doesn’t he step down and just have the entertainer for the next generation?’ One hundred percent agree. With all the love in the world, all the gratefulness because 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 of Entertainer of the Year.” he shares. “It’s time for somebody else to hold that award, feel what Entertainer feels like, because they’re all busting their butts.”
He officially asked the Country Music Association if it was possible to declare him CMA Entertainer of the Year Emeritus status, but they weren’t able to do this. Brooks had hoped the Country Music Association would remove him from the ballot this year, but ultimately decided they could not, due to the fact that it’s the voting membership that decides the nominees and not the Association itself.
So with respect and gratitude, Brooks has decided to remove himself. With the second round of eligible nominees being announced tomorrow (July 30th) and voting set to begin Friday (July 31st), Brooks has made the voting membership aware he feels the nomination and the award should go to someone other than him.
In a statement to Billboard, the CMA says an artist cannot remove themselves from contention in any way.
“The nominees and winners of the CMA Awards are selected by the vote of eligible members of the Country Music Association and not by CMA. The long-standing CMA Awards rules do not allow individuals to remove themselves from the balloting process at any point. The 2020 CMA Awards second ballot will be emailed to eligible voting members this Friday, July 31. If voters have nominated Garth Brooks in the first round, his name will appear on the second ballot. It will then be up to voters in this second round to select their top finalists. The final 2020 CMA Awards nominees, which will consist of five nominees in each category, will be announced in the coming weeks, with a final round of voting taking place in October. We look forward to seeing who our members vote for when The 54th Annual CMA Awards air on ABC in November.”
Brooks also announced that the remainder of the 2020 stadium tour has been postponed until 2021, if allowed by local governments. Charlotte and Cincinnati have already been rescheduled, while the sold out Las Vegas show, set for August 22nd as the first live event at Allegiant Stadium, is now set for February 27, 2021. All tickets will be honored for the original date. Refunds will offered soon for those who can’t make the rescheduled date.
Brooks shares that stadium tour dates are scheduled through summer of 2022. He says his camp will be twice as busy in 2021 as they attempt to make up dates that weren’t announced, including a stop in Kansas City, but were scheduled for 2020.
In the meantime, the country superstar said virtual reality is something he has was exploring before COVID-19 shutdown the world, and could be coming soon. “VR is the natural next step as far as people getting to experience the concert because we’ve all experienced concerts, if we’re lucky, from the audience side, but did you experience from the drummer’s view? It’ll blow your mind.”
Brooks also confirms he’s working on opening his own dive bar in Nashville, something he’s alluded to on Inside Studio G in the past. “Things you probably shouldn’t say… I’m gonna say, if you’re betting, kinda bet toward it happening because it’s just something coming in the future, but it’s gonna be done the way we do it. It’ll be its own place, very much like Blake’s is his own place. We’re gonna be done our own way. It’s coming in probably the next two years, three years, because when you talk about Broadway, it’s the friends in low places right there. It’s the perfect place.”
Brooks did not address when his long-awaited Fun album would be released, but he did state previously “it’s not the right time.”