Many of Carrie Underwood’s fans aren’t too happy about who ended up winning entertainer of the year at the CMA Awards on Wednesday — especially as the awards show was centered around celebrating women this year.
Underwood, the only female nominee up for the prestigious prize, lost out to Garth Brooks, who picked up his seventh win — and his third in four years.
Almost immediately, a backlash began brewing online, with many fans expressing their “anger & disappointment,” especially as Underwood — one of the night’s co-hosts — was coming off of an incredibly successful album and tour cycle.
“The 2019 CMAs could have been so special. however, it will forever be remembered by Carrie Underwood losing to Garth Brooks for entertainer of the year. every headline about last night’s show has the same theme: anger & disappointment for Carrie…and rightfully so. such a shame,” wrote one social media user.
“What does Carrie Underwood have to do to win entertainer of the year? Like I could write a 50 page paper on everything she did this year and maybe a page on what Garth did. Come on CMA. She hosts the show, y’all. Shake my head. Shake my head,” wrote a second fan.
Many others also slammed the CMAs for the way their celebratory night of women came to an end.
“@carrieunderwood got robbed of Entertainer of the Year. This award is beyond sexist for some insane reason. No reasonable person would believe she didn’t deserve it,” wrote one Twitter user.
“This is such a slap in the face. Not only to Carrie, but to the women of country music in general. So much for celebrating women tonight, but you’re going to continue giving these awards to mediocre men. @CountryMusic congrats on getting it wrong yet again,” wrote another.
Carrie Underwood deserved the female vocalist of the year award and album of the year and the entertainer of the year Carrie’s Cry Pretty 360 tour was the best tour of 2019 Carrie southbound video was a #1 her Cry Pretty was the best album for 2019 the CMA voters need to wake up— Terrence Harshbarger (@GHarshbsrger) November 14, 2019
I was so mad @CountryMusic didn't give the Entertainer of the year award to the sole female up for the award @carrieunderwood had an awesome year entertaining us. the others I love but they didn't do what Carrie did♡— Vickisue Taylor (@leizimm) November 14, 2019
CMAs: We love celebrating women in country music!— Gibson Johns (@gibsonoma) November 14, 2019
Also #CMAs: *gives Garth Brooks his seventh Entertainer of the Year award over Carrie Underwood, who has still somehow never won the biggest award in country music*#CMAawards
Several others also pointed out their anger that Brooks did not acknowledge Underwood during his acceptance speech, although he did give shout-outs to Luke Combs, Kelsea Ballerini, and one of the night’s other co-hosts, Reba McEntire.
“I have no words. Garth Brooks was the least deserving. And the fact he didn’t even acknowledge Carrie Underwood,” wrote one Twitter user. “This does NOT DEFINE your worth @carrieunderwood you are the ENTERTAINER OF THE DECADE. So proud of the Year you had.”
“Garth has such an opportunity to call more attention to the women in radio problem. He didn’t. And then he shouts out Reba and not his fellow nominee Carrie? And then she has to go out on stage, clearly disappointed in the status quo and end the night. Damn. #CMAawards,” added another, referencing the fact that afterwards Underwood had to come back onstage with her fellow co-hosts.
A true professional, Underwood also gave Brooks a hug as she congratulated him and all of the nights winners.
I have no words. Garth Brooks was the least deserving. And the fact he didn’t even acknowledge Carrie Underwood. This does NOT DEFINE your worth @carrieunderwood you are the ENTERTAINER OF THE DECADE. So proud of the Year you had. Garth I hope you enjoy eating another burger— ben (@backslidingben) November 14, 2019
Garth has such an opportunity to call more attention to the women in radio problem. He didn’t. And then he shouts out Reba and not his fellow nominee Carrie? And then she has to go out on stage, clearly disappointed in the status quo and end the night. Damn. #CMAawards— Sarah Boesveld (@sarahboesveld) November 14, 2019
This year marked the first time a woman has been nominated for entertainer since 2016, when Underwood was also again the lone female nominee, once again losing to Brooks. A female artist hasn’t taken home the award since Taylor Swift‘s win in 2011.
Ahead of the show, Miranda Lambert publicly campaigned for Underwood in a lengthy Instagram post where she listed out all the reasons each nominee is worthy of the award — and why the “Southbound” singer ultimately was the most deserving.
“Carrie- The Entertainer Of The Year. Because… Currently being on tour with all female artists, I’ve been thinking a lot about all the work that goes into what we do. The most amazing job in the world. But it ain’t for the faint of heart,” she explained. “@carrieunderwood is on an all female tour too. The Cry Pretty Tour 360. She put out her first single in 2005 and from then on country music was changed for good.”
“That iconic voice has been classin’ up our stages, charts and televisions for a decade and a half. The Voice. The legs. The songs. The brand. The mom. The wife. The Okie. The Jesus lover. The blonde bombshell that is Carrie,” she added. “She blows me away every time I hear her sing. She never wavers in who she is or what she stands for. She has stayed true & pushed herself to be better.”
Lambert concluded, “If you have never heard her sing ‘How Great Thou Art’ do yourself a favor and listen. I have her back in this picture and I’ll always have her back. So for the sake of sequins, spanx and spray tans, take it home! You Carrie the torch!”
Underwood, who was nominated for three CMAs this year, had previously spoken about how she was hoping to win the night’s top prize.
“I’m blessed and lucky to be nominated, obviously — and fantastic company,” she told reporters ahead of the big night, adding that it “would be amazing” to win.
“It’s not the be-all end-all, but of course I’d be lying if I said I didn’t want it.” She offered a hearty laugh. “Sorry, boys!”