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.