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Nearly 30 years after winning his first CMA Entertainer trophy, Garth Brooks decides to stop with seven

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ABC Audio

On Wednesday, Garth Brooks revealed he’s officially taken home an Entertainer of the Year trophy for the very last time.

Reiterating he’s not retiring or slowing down — and still hopes to be competitive in other categories —  the superstar admitted he’s been thinking along these lines ever since winning a record seventh title in November.

Initially, it looked like the Country Music Association might be on the road to giving him an emeritus honor at CMA Fest. But after the annual celebration had to be cancelled because of COVID-19, CMA ultimately decided they could not “pull [Garth] out of [the running for] an award.”

So, “with all the gratefulness, [all] the love in the world,” he did it himself.

“There was one tweet in there that really stuck in my head,” he explained, “that said, ‘Hey, man, this guy, why doesn’t he step down and just have the Entertainer for the next generation?’ [I] one-hundred-percent agreed…”

“The last thing I want to do is seem ungrateful to the CMAs and everybody that has voted for us…” Garth added. “My number is seven… And we feel very lucky with seven.”

“It’s time for somebody else to hold that award, [to] know what that Entertainer feels like. Because they’re all out there busting their butts,” he said of his contemporaries.

After a year when touring was mostly sidelined by the global pandemic, Garth points out it should be an interesting race.

“This is probably the perfect year for it,” he reflected, “because I don’t know how they’re gonna judge Entertainer this year… I feel very grateful. And for twenty-five years, you get to be the Entertainer of the Year. So that’s been pretty sweet.”

Garth first won in 1991, nearly thirty years ago.

By Stephen Hubbard
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