After Garth Brooks announced on Wednesday he would be removing himself from all future Entertainer of the Year nominations at the CMA Awards following seven career wins, fellow country star Luke Bryan is weighing in on the matter while also sharing his support for Carrie Underwood and Eric Church during a press conference for his new album, Born Here, Live Here, Die here, out Aug. 7.
"There's a lot of ways to look at it. [But] he did it his way," Bryan told PopCulture.com and other media, before admitting Brooks is not only a "huge figure," but has the "ability" to make that kind of announcement considering his position as a country megastar. The Georgia native, who has won two of the prestigious awards in 2014 and 2015, humbly shares how every time he gets a nomination, that alone is "winning for him." Additionally, if he doesn't win, the American Idol judge is continually "interested" in who did win and if it's "somebody that's won before" or "somebody that's never won before, but they were very, very deserving" to win the honor.
"My thought is, if we go for a long period of time and Carrie Underwood never wins a CMA Entertainer of the Year, that's quite disturbing for me because she's done everything you can do to win it in my opinion — and that goes for Eric Church," he said. Neither Underwood nor Church has ever won Entertainer of the Year at the CMA Awards since the two first broke out onto the scene, respectively. While the American Idol winner has been nominated twice in 2016 and 2019, Church has been up for the honor three times in 2015, 2017 and 2019.
That being said, 2020 might be the year for either one of the country stars, as the two are out with new albums this year and currently nominated alongside Thomas Rhett, Luke Combs and Bryan for the Entertainer of the Year honor at this September's ACM Awards. When looking at what "true entertainers" are on a larger scale between award shows, the 44-year-old reflects on the two years he won his CMA, admitting he truly believed he was "deserving" of the top honor.
"Hell, I really felt like the best entertainer that year and there have been years that I felt like the best entertainer and I didn't win. But that's just the way it goes," he said. "I think at some point all artists — I think maybe in Garth's mind — he probably could be taking people's slots and how long do you want to do that?"
Bryan hypothesizes if he is "really good" at winning Album of the Year, year after year, he could just keep going forward with that honor. "[But] then I don't necessarily know if my album is the best," he said. "I'm just good at winning them. Should you move over and let other people [win]? It's a tricky little thing."
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