Earlier this year, Garth Brooks removed himself from the running for CMA Entertainer of the Year after winning a total of seven times throughout his career. At the time, the superstar acknowledged that "it's time for somebody else to hold that award."
Brooks was most recently crowned Entertainer of the Year in November of 2019, marking the third time in four years he had received the honor. Following the victory, Brooks removed himself from the running and now, he's reflecting on what exactly led him to make that decision in an interview with People TV.
"We got killed pretty bad last time we won here," the country star said, referring to the criticism he received on social media. "There’s one I particular that I loved that said, 'I love you to death but don't you just think it's time that…'"
Brooks went on to share that he wasn't worried or hurt by the criticism. He explained, "I don't think it hurts at all. They're not saying they don't love ya, they're saying 'Hey, don't you think it’s time?' Say it's time. Love everybody, hug everybody and be known as 'the guy who got to win it this many times.'"
Brooks has taken home the trophy in 1991, 1992, 1997, 1998, 2016, 2017 and 2019. Brooks most recently won the big award over, among others, Carrie Underwood and Eric Church, who were favorites in the running. In July, he admitted the last win was "not that fun, to tell you the truth," after receiving criticism on social media.
"I'm expecting to give a standing ovation to Carrie," he said at the time. "I mean, this is her night ... And when they said my name, then I was like, I'm lost here because I don't know what to say."
"I'm very grateful for the time that I've got to go [win]," Brooks added, but now, "somebody else needs to hold that."
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