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Garth Brooks Bows Out Of EOTY Nominations

Pearl’s Garth Brooks hosted an industry press conference – broadcast to his Inside Studio G audience via Facebook Live – this morning (7/29) to announce his withdrawal from future CMA Awards Entertainer of the Year nominations. His decision was based in part on feedback and social media commentary following his most recent win. “This all started...asking the CMA if it was possible – with all the gratitude and love in the world – [if] we could establish some kind of Entertainer of the Year Emeritus, and they were very sweet to entertain that thought,” says Brooks. After CMA determined they were not able to pull someone out of a category in which they were nominated, Brooks elected to voluntarily remove himself. “I humbly ask with all the gratefulness and love in the world that we are going to do this ourselves,” he notes.

"The nominees and winners of the CMA Awards are selected by the vote of eligible members of the Country Music Association, and not by CMA," says Sr. Dir./Communications Catharine McNelly. "The long-standing CMA Awards rules do not allow individuals to remove themselves from the balloting process at any point ... If voters have nominated Garth Brooks in the first round, his name will appear on the second ballot. It will then be up to voters in this second round to select their top finalists. The final 2020 CMA Awards nominees, which will consist of five nominees in each category, will be announced in the coming weeks, with a final round of voting taking place in October. We look forward to seeing who our members vote for when The 54th Annual CMA Awards air on ABC in November."

Brooks, who took home his seventh EOTY trophy last November (CAT 11/14/19), clarified that he would still be open to nominations and wins in additional categories, specifically mentioning his collaboration with Blake Shelton on “Dive Bar” and its accompanying video, but asked that he not be in contention for future nominations in the CMA’s top category. Second round voting begins Friday (7/31). Watch the full press conference, including a Q&A with industry and radio pros, here.