Garth Brooks Says He ‘Kind of Went Numb’ After 2016 CMA Entertainer of the Year Win
Garth Brooks was crowned Entertainer of the Year at the 2016 CMA Awards, held Wednesday night (Nov. 2). The country legend beat out fellow nominees Chris Stapleton, Carrie Underwood, Keith Urban and two-time reigning Entertainer of the Year Luke Bryan to take home the night's highest honor. Following his big win, Brooks admitted to The Boot and other reports that he "kind of went numb when they called my name."
"When we left, I never thought I’d get to come back," Brooks continued, referencing his retirement from country music in 2000. "And then, when you come back, you never think you’re going to get to hold one of these again."
"Awards are for younger artists; they just are," Brooks explains. "People think it’s the other way around, that the older you get, the more ordinary it gets, [but] it’s exactly the opposite. We were lucky enough to have the largest tour in the world at the end of the ‘90s, which garnered us two of these. Good Lord willing, if everything keeps going, we’re going to break that record here in the next month or so."
Brooks was undoubtedly crowned the Entertainer of the Year this year, at least in part, because he is in the middle of his three-year World Tour, which has taken him all over North America. After spending more than 15 years away from the spotlight, staying home to raise his three daughters, the Oklahoma native has been perhaps more surprised than anyone that his current tour has been the biggest-selling one of his career.
"We still have 20 cities left; we’re 52 cities in, and 5 million tickets, which took us 100 cities last time to do it," he shares. "So the people are showing up in record numbers. They’re so sweet. Their attitude is fantastic."
Although Brooks was named the Entertainer of the Year winner, the humble star insists that he doesn't deserve much of the credit.
"This belongs to the band and crew," he maintains. "Nobody works as hard as our band and crew, so I don’t have to. I just get to go out there and have fun."
Fifty-four-year-old Brooks found his win at the star-studded 50th anniversary of the CMA Awards especially poignant, as it followed a night of tributes and performances.
"I can tell you this: [It was] the greatest opening in CMA history tonight, and I’ve seen half of them," he says. "That was the greatest opening I’ve ever seen. As if you couldn’t think it could get better, every act just kept getting better and better and better. And then here comes Randy Travis singing "[Forever and Ever,] Amen." Are you kidding me? I lost it. I cried like a baby.
"The five girls singing "I Will Always Love You," unbelievable. Queen Bey and the Dixie Chicks, I thought that was just power, just raw power, and I love that it was all feminine raw power ... Dolly Parton, the greatest female country artist of all time, looked fantastic, sounded fantastic. This is a good one, and the fact that it’s the 50th -- they don’t make another one of these. I’m going to enjoy this."
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