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NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE - NOVEMBER 13: (FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY) Garth Brooks poses with the CMA Award for Entertainer of the Year at the press room of the 53rd annual CMA Awards at the Bridgestone Arena on November 13, 2019 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Leah Puttkammer/Getty Images)

In a bit of a shocking development, Garth Brooks announced that he is permanently removing himself from the running for the prestigious CMA category: Entertainer of the Year. He made the announcement at an online press conference this morning.

The conference took place on Brooks’ Facebook page. Brooks said that he began considering the possibility of officially pulling himself out of the running for Entertainer of the Year category soon after the 2019 CMA Awards. Brooks won the award that night over Carrie Underwood who many felt deserved the honor. There was backlash on social media from Underwood’s fans. Eric Church, who also was nominated, seemed to take a dig at Brooks at a show soon after the CMAs, when he covered Waylon Jennings’ “Are You Sure Hank Done It This Way.” ¬†Eric sang, “Singing my songs, and one of his now and then / But I don’t think Hank done ’em this way, no / I don’t think Hank done ’em this way” but he changed the words to “And I know Garth didn’t do it this way.”

During the press conference, Brooks said, “You pretty much saw what happened after the CMAs, all the way through the new year. It wasn’t fun, let’s put it that way,” Brooks said.

“But there was one tweet that really stuck in my head,” he adds, explaining that the message asked Brooks to step down from contention for the honor in the future. Brooks realized that he “100 percent agreed” with that tweet.

So, he said, “With all the love in the world, we are officially pulling ourselves out of Entertainer of the Year.”

It’s unclear whether or not the CMAs can still nominate him for the award anyway, although it seems unlikely that they would. Brooks has won the award seven times.