Garth Brooks on CMA Entertainer of the Year Voting: ‘The Stand Is Still the Same’
Garth Brooks still really doesn't want to be considered for the CMA Awards' most prestigious honor. With second-round voting — to determine each category's final five nominees — opening Monday (Aug. 2), the seven-time winner says he's hoping he's not nominated for Entertainer of the Year at November's award show.
In July 2020, Brooks said he was pulling his name out of the running for Entertainer of the Year, which he's won seven times: 1991, 1992, 1997, 1998, 2016, 2017 and 2019. Technically, he can't do that, as CMA members can vote for whomever they please; however, he was not one of the final five nominees in 2020.
The decision, he shared at the time, was made in consideration of the response he got to winning in 2019. "I'm very grateful for the time that I've got to go [win, but now], somebody else needs to hold that," Brooks said.
Not everyone agreed with his stance:
Per the CMA Awards website, second-round voting runs through Aug. 12. During a Friday (July 30) press conference ahead of his Nashville Stadium Tour stop, the Country Music Hall of Famer fielded a question about potential nominations.
“I don’t want to take a spot in that final five," Brooks says. "The stand is still the same."
From there, the 59-year-old pivoted to his current tour, and how and why his team was able to get back to work so quickly when local and national guidelines loosened. At present, Brooks has seven upcoming shows listed on his website — and, after a rainout on Saturday (July 31), a rescheduled date for Nashville coming — keeping him busy into October.
Brooks' Stadium Tour will wrap next summer, he shares. "If it ends in the gig that I’m praying and hoping it ends with for the last five years, it will be the biggest gig of our career," he says.
The word "if" is loaded as COVID-19 numbers rise again, however. Should the Delta variant force a change of plans, he'll accept that.
"Here’s the important thing: Our job is to gather people in mass numbers," Brooks says. "If that’s a bad thing than we need to stand down. And that’s what we’ll do."
The date for the 2021 CMA Awards has not yet been revealed, but, once again, the show will air on ABC.