When the CMA Awards aired on November 13, viewers felt like they had a pretty clear idea who would walk home with the night’s most coveted award…Entertainer of the Year.
Out of the five nominees, many viewers felt that Carrie Underwood was deserving of the trophy. The ceremony fell just days after she wrapped up her massive Cry Pretty Tour 360, which took her all over the U.S., Canada, and the UK.
On top of her Cry Pretty Tour, Underwood also released a number of hit singles, performed at CMA Fest, created a new Sunday Night Football song with Joan Jett, and worked on her line of fitness apparel. She also co-hosted the CMA Awards for the 12th year in a row.
Her hard work didn’t go unnoticed, and other artists such as Miranda Lambert were championing for her to win the award.
It seemed like her year to win, especially since the CMA used this year’s ceremony to celebrate the legendary women of country music.
But when it finally came time to announce the EOTY, it was Garth Brooks‘ name, not Underwood’s, that was read aloud by presenter Reese Witherspoon.
This marked Brooks’ seventh time winning the EOTY Award. He embarked on two tours this year, one being his Stadium Tour. No matter how big the stadium may be, Brooks always packs it full and puts on an unforgettable show.
Brooks used his EOTY speech to toss the spotlight on some of his fellow artists, complitmenting the performances Kelsea Ballerini and Reba McEntire had put on at the CMA Awards that night. He also acknowledged Male Vocalist of the Year winner Luke Combs, saying the EOTY Award would be his one day.
But when Brooks didn’t offer a shout-out to Underwood in his speech, fans were upset.
@garthbrooks I am so disappointed that you didn’t include @carrieunderwood in your shout out speech after mentioning a few. @CountryMusic I am disappointed in YOU for the disrespect.
— Corey Brett (@CorTheMan) November 14, 2019
I don’t think he meant it this way, but Garth’s acceptance speech was a bit tone deaf. Hard when you call out names & miss the person behind you who has been passed over multiple times and is deserving. I give @carrieunderwood a lot of credit for the way she conducted herself.
— Madison Blake (@Madison91194051) November 16, 2019
@garthbrooks while I am a huge fan of yours, I was kinda disturbed and shocked with your acceptance speech for Entertainer of the Year…and how you acknowledged a whole slew of people that were nominated with you but made no mention of Carrie Underwood!!! Was that a mistake?
— Angela Richardson (@shawnswife14) November 15, 2019
Now, a week after the awards, Brooks finally explained why he didn’t speak about Underwood in that moment.
In an interview with Good Morning America, Brooks said he never thought he’d win EOTY this year, so he had no speech prepared. When he did win, he said he was so frazzled that all he thought to do was comment on aspects of the ceremony:
“We were sitting there talking [and] boom, your name gets called and you don’t have anything prepared or nothing, so you pretty much just tell them what you thought of the show,” he said.
But why didn’t Brooks prepare a speech? He told GMA he didn’t have anything written because he fully believed Underwood would win EOTY:
“It was the year of the women so we were all expecting Carrie anyway and she justly deserved it as well as the other nominees,” he said.
Those who follow Brooks know he deserved the award as well. Just a week after the CMA Awards, he performed for over 84,000 people at the University of Tennessee’s Neyland Stadium. In doing so, he broke a record for concert attendance in the state.
You can watch one of his performances from that stadium show below. He truly is an expert entertainer!
What do y’all think about Brooks comments regarding his EOTY win?