Brooks on Brooks: Kix Says Garth Was Ready to “Let Other Acts Rock With” the CMA Entertainer of the Year Award

With 19 CMA Awards in their trophy cases, Kix Brooks and Ronnie Dunn of Brooks & Dunn are second only to George Strait (22) on the all-time list. The duo also took home the CMA’s most coveted award, Entertainer of the Year, in 1996.

From one CMA Entertainer of the Year to another, Kix Brooks shared his thoughts regarding Garth Brooks respectfully requesting to have his name withdrawn from future nominations for the CMA Entertainer of the Year Award. Garth won his record-setting seventh CMA Entertainer of the Year Award in 2019.

As Kix told Elaina Smith of Nights With Elaina, Garth was ready to “let other acts rock with it.”

“I know where Garth is coming from,” says Kix. “He can still sell out more shows, I think, than probably anybody in our business, if he wants to. If he wanted to really clean a market out, he can probably sell out 10 shows in about every market, which does make it hard for the next act that comes through because you’ve pretty much depleted the income of all our fans, so he’s careful about all that stuff—it’s true, it really is. He probably could win Entertainer of the Year just on that merit . . . He has been in that legitimate spotlight for so long . . . I think he probably would like to step out of that spotlight for a second and let other acts rock with it.”

Garth got his wish on Sept. 1 when the nominations for the CMA Awards were announced. His name was not included in the Entertainer of the Year category, even though it should have been. After the COVID-19 pandemic halted his Dive Bar Tour and Stadium Tour, Garth kept the music coming with a drive-in concert event, prime-time performance on CBS, Grand Ole Opry showcase, Facebook Live concerts and more.

The CMA Awards will air live from the Music City Center in downtown Nashville on Nov. 11 at 8 p.m. ET.

Entertainer of the Year

  • Eric Church
  • Luke Combs
  • Miranda Lambert
  • Carrie Underwood
  • Keith Urban

photo by Curtis Hilbun,