Garth Brooks spoke out about his controversial Entertainer of the Year win at the 2019 CMA Awards earlier this month and how he thought the award was going to go to Carrie Underwood. In a new interview, the country legend got candid about his big win – the award is the most prestigious one given out on the night – for the seventh time, after both he and CMA received some major backlash following the ceremony.
Garth took home the gong at the end of the November 13 award show, despite many fans and famous faces – including Miranda Lambert – publicly backing Carrie Underwood for the win. Not only had the star had a stellar year full of accolades, but the 2019 CMA Awards claimed to honor the women of country music. Carrie was the only female artist nominated for Entertainer of the Year alongside Garth, Eric Church, Keith Urban, and Chris Stapleton.
“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,” Garth recently told Good Morning America of how he thought the “Blown Away” singer would take home the award, which would’ve marked her first-ever win in the category and only second nomination.
The “Dive Bar” singer then admitted that he was so convinced Carrie would win that he didn’t even prepare a speech.
“We were sitting there talking [and] boom, your name gets called and you don’t have anything prepared or nothing,” Garth explained, “so you pretty much just tell them what you thought of the show.”
He also spoke out about performing a huge show for 84,000 fans the day after the awards at Neyland Stadium in Knoxville, Tennessee, and the thrill he got after his win.
“The CMAs was Christmas Eve, Knoxville that Saturday was Christmas morning for me. That was a gift right there,” he said.
The star appeared to address the controversy that stemmed from him failing to mention Carrie in his speech as he accepted the award. Instead of highlighting her achievements or commiserating with the mom of two, Garth gave a shout-out to Reba (who co-hosted the show with Carrie and Dolly Parton) as well as Kelsea Ballerini.
“Reba taught us all what entertainment was,” he said, referring to the star’s performance of her 1990 hit “Fancy” during the broadcast.
“Every guy in that room got his butt kicked by Reba,” Garth added.
As The Inquisitr previously reported, Garth and CMA were largely slammed online after it was announced that he had won the award for the seventh time. Many flocked to Twitter to highlight Carrie’s endless achievements throughout the year while several country music blogs also put forth the argument for why they thought she should have won.
Though Carrie hasn’t publicly spoken out about the loss, Country Living reported that some fans speculated she may have been holding back tears when she returned to the stage with Reba and Dolly to close out the show.