Like all the best decisions do, it started when Garth Brooks saw a tweet. “It said, ‘Hey, man. This guy, why doesn’t he just step down [and leave] the entertainer for the next generation?’ 100% agree,” Brooks explained at a July 29 press conference, according to the Nashville Tennessean. So, the country superstar announced he would not be campaigning for entertainer of the year at the 2020 Country Music Association Awards, hoping to leave the top honor for another performer. Brooks has won the award seven times, more than any other nominee, including three of the last four years (he wasn’t nominated in 2018). “It’s time for somebody else to hold that award,” he said. Although, he didn’t want to leave this year’s CMAs empty-handed, saying that he suggested an “entertainer of the year emeritus” award to the association. But Brooks won’t need to clear a spot in his crowded trophy case, because the association told him it “can’t just create a title and give it to somebody, because they want to treat everybody fairly.” Brooks’s decision leaves the door open for recent mainstay nominees like Chris Stapleton, Miranda Lambert, Carrie Underwood, and Eric Church, along with other recent past winners including Luke Bryan and Keith Urban. The CMAs will send out second-round ballots on July 31.
Garth Brooks. Photo: Brent N Clarke/Invision/AP/Shutterstock