Country music singer Eric Church, 41, slammed Garth Brooks for lip-syncing at last year’s Country Music Association Awards. At the awards, Brooks won Country Music Association’s Entertainer of the Year, and Church was one of the nominees for that category.
According to a Rolling Stone interview, Church said, “To me, lip-synching is and always will be a red line. It’s fabricated. I don’t want young artists thinking it’s OK, because it’s not.” Brooks won the Entertainer of the Year and Church felt that year was his best shot to take home that award. While he felt “fine” with the fact that he lost, his wife wanted to go “Kanye West” on the situation, but she ended up holding her tongue.
After the CMA ceremony, Brooks admitted to lip-syncing his song “Ask Me How I Know” that night during a press conference. The country music legend’s reasoning was that he had 12 shows in 10 days, and he felt his voice just wasn’t up to singing live at the CMAs. According to a People report, Brooks said,
“We’re in the middle of 12 shows in 10 days. Not 10 shows in 12 days, 12 shows in 10 days. We did a game-time call on whether to sing the track or lip-sync and decided to lip-sync. The voice just isn’t there anymore, and you want to represent country music as best you can.”
Eric Church: Modern country's sharpest songwriter sounds off on gun-control, hating lip-syncing and loving Bernie Sanders https://t.co/bYkW0zw5ZH— Rolling Stone (@RollingStone) July 28, 2018
Church didn’t appreciate the sentiment at all especially considering he did his own huge stadium tour last year without an opening act. He said,
“So the winner of the biggest category of the night lip-synced in the biggest moment on the show? F*** that! And I didn’t like his excuse at all. I felt like he was speaking for the other nominees. I can speak for myself – I’m not lip-syncing. If I can’t sing, I won’t sing, or I’ll sing badly. But at least you’ll get what you get.”
Of course, the 56-year-old Oklahoman has clearly done something right in his career. Overall, Brooks has won a record 22 Academy of Country Music Awards out of a total of 47 overall nominations. In addition, he’s won two Grammys out of 13 total nominations. In 2012, the Country Music Hall of Fame inducted him, and he’s won or been nominated for numerous other awards and accolades throughout his decades-long career.
As for Church, he also has an excellent record of hit songs and winning awards. His latest album, Desperate Man is set for an October 2018 release date. So far, Brooks has not responded publicly to Church’s criticism of his choice to lip-sync last year at the CMA Awards.