Blake Shelton and Country Fans are Divided After Garth Brooks Withdraws from Top CMA Award Consideration

Tierney McAfee

From House Beautiful

  • Garth Brooks says he's removing himself from consideration for CMA Entertainer of the Year for this year and all future years.

  • The country icon has won the award a record seven times.

Garth Brooks is making way for the next generation of country stars.

The country music legend has announced that he's removing himself from consideration for CMA Entertainer of the Year after winning the honor a record seven times in his decades-long career.

"With all the love in the world and all the gratefulness — because the last thing I want to do is seem ungrateful to the CMAs and everyone who’s voted for us — we’re officially pulling ourselves out of Entertainer of the Year," Garth said in a Zoom press conference on Wednesday, according to Billboard.

The 58-year-old country star said he's removing himself from the running for this year and all future years.

After his controversial seventh win last year, Garth faced backlash on social media from Carrie Underwood fans who had hoped that she would take home the title.

"It made winning entertainer of the year not as fun,” Garth said, noting that his decision was sparked by one particular tweet he saw that said, "Hey man, this guy, why doesn't he step down and just have the entertainer be for the next generation?"

"I 100 percent agreed," the country star said. "It's time for somebody else to hold that award, and know what Entertainer of the Year feels like. Because they're all out there busting their butts. ... We've been lucky enough to carry that award home a number of times and I feel like it's somebody else's turn."

Despite Garth's official position, it's still possible that his name will end up on the Entertainer of the Year nominee list after CMA members cast their ballots later this week. According to Billboard, the CMA said its rules "do not allow individuals to remove themselves from the balloting process at any point."

On Wednesday, fans took to Twitter to react to Garth's announcement — including Blake Shelton, who recorded the 2019 song "Dive Bar" with Garth.

Blake retweeted fellow country singer Steve Wariner, who wrote, "If you’ve ever seen @garthbrooks live, you know why he consistently wins entertainer of the year. There is no one as big as Garth, but more importantly there is no one as kind."

"Agreed Steve.... He is Garth Brooks. GARTH BROOKS!!!" Blake tweeted. "I don’t give a s--t what anyone says. ANYONE. Entertainer of the century."

Other fans were also upset by the news, saying he shouldn't be "ashamed" of earning the award:

Another fan praised Garth for his decision, writing, "His unselfishness, love for this craft, and love for other country music artists are what makes Garth Brooks, Garth freaking Brooks. He has friends in low places, high places and every corner. He just wants to have fun and it shows. Thank you @garthbrooks."

Other Twitter users chimed in, saying the news gave them hope that other great female country artists would be nominated in Garth's place.

With all this said, Garth is still hoping to win the CMA Award for Best Music Video for “Dive Bar."

“I’m extremely competitive," he said with a smile.

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