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Toby Keith: CMA Awards Not as ‘Fun’ as a Root Canal?

Getty Images for Country Thunder

The CMA Awards are only a week away, and while dozens of artists are planning their wardrobe and practicing their acceptance speeches for country music’s biggest night, Toby Keith isn’t one of them.

“Hell no, I ain’t showing up. I gotta go get a root canal that day, or something fun,” he tells Country Weekly. Toby, who hasn’t been nominated for a CMA award since 2005, finds it ironic that he is now back among the list of nominees. He’s up for Music Video of the Year for his raucous “Red Solo Cup” clip.

“Isn’t that crazy?” asks the 51-year-old star. “But, you know, ['Red Solo Cup' is] the only song I ever had cross over and play on the pop stations. Ever. All of my peers that are hard ticket sellers, successful people, at the top of the game we play every day, about every one of them has had a certain amount of crossover play: Taylor [Swift], Tim [McGraw], Keith [Urban], [Rascal] Flatts, Faith [Hill]. I was always the one guy in that generation that didn’t. [Pop stations] were always like, ‘He is so country, we’re not going to play him.’ And I always took pride in that.”

Toby has amassed 27 CMA award nominations throughout his career. While he may disapprove of the CMA’s voting process, he is an advocate of fan-voted honors, like the CMT awards.

“I’ve got a lot of CMT awards in my office at home, Toby says. “They always put together a great show. It’s a different forum. To me, it’s not as sterile as the other awards shows. It’s more, hang out and hang loose.”

The 46th Annual CMA Awards will air live (minus Toby), Thursday, Nov. 1 at 8:00 PM ET on ABC. Toby’s latest album, Hope on the Rocks, will be released Oct. 30.

Watch Toby Keith’s ‘Red Solo Cup’ Video

Watch Toby Discuss His USO Tours

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