Miranda Lambert Says CMA Entertainer for Garth Brooks was “Bull$hit”

The 2020 CMA Awards are coming up on Wednesday, November 11th, and both Ashley McBryde and Miranda Lambert will be big players in the awards this year. Miranda leads all nominees with seven nominations total, including for Album of the Year, and Entertainer of the Year beside fellow female artist Carrie Underwood—the first time two women have been nominated for the award in some 20 years. Ashley McBryde is nominated for Album of the Year, Female Vocalist of the Year, and with Miranda for their remake of “Fooled Around and Fell In Love.”

One person they won’t have to worry about competing with in 2020 is Garth Brooks. The reigning CMA Entertainer of the Year recused himself from consideration for the award in July after the blow back last year when he walked away with the award, and many believed either Carrie Underwood or Eric Church should have won it. Some were rooting for Carrie with the emphasis that was being put on the women of country at the 2019 CMAs, and Eric Church was the man with some of the biggest touring numbers during the eligibility period.

Many gave credit to Garth Brooks for taking himself out of contention, and you can’t blame him personally for voters awarding him Entertainer of the Year. But there’s still some bad blood out there coming from many in the country community, including Miranda Lambert, apparently.

“I think last year was b[ullshit] and that Carrie Underwood should have taken it,” Miranda Lambert told the LA Times recently in a rather candid conversation with both Lambert and Ashley McBryde. “I’m still a little bit grudge-y about it. Although I love Garth—he was my first concert when I was 10 years old—there’s times and places for things, and I just felt like it was the wrong thing. But this year I’m excited because I feel like it’s the way that it should be. And maybe that’s because he pulled out of it; I don’t know. But I think everyone in the category deserves to be there.”

Ashley McBryde said on the matter, “I know there are people that are upset about it and people that are delighted about it. But [Garth] doesn’t do anything that he hasn’t thought through completely.”

Miranda Lambert replied to McBryde’s assessment, “That’s a nice answer…”

There were quite a few other nuggets that came from the LA Times feature, including Ashley McBryde naming off Tyler Childers as the most underappreciated artist in country right now. “He’s as country as a homemade sock, so there’s no reason he shouldn’t be played on country radio,” McBryde said. “He’s got the beard — the only thing missing is the ball cap.”

Miranda Lambert named Elle King as her most underappreciated artist, who appears on the Musical Event of the Year-nominated “Fooled Around and Fell In Love” with Miranda, McBryde, as well as Maren Morris, Tenille Townes, and Caylee Hammack.

Miranda and McBryde also spoke about the challenges facing women in country music these days, which they say are still present, but appear to be improving. “When it comes to the gender-equality thing, there are some things that are complete crap and there are some things that are pretty valid,” McBryde said, while praising the idea of perhaps having more gender-specific categories in country awards to allow more women to compete, something Dale Watson’s Ameripolitan Awards do.

The biggest competition Miranda, McBryde, and everyone else will face on Wednesday night will be Luke Combs, who is up for Album of the Year beside the two women for his mega record What You See Is What You Get, and is also up for Entertainer of the Year, Male Vocalist, Single, and Song of the Year. Having amassed a year in sales and streams that’s nothing short of historic, he’ll offer stiff competition in all the categories he’s nominated in.

But at least it won’t be Garth Brooks, who by his own words, has received more than his fair share of awards over the years, and is willing to cede the podium to newer stars, even if some aren’t willing to forgive and forget just yet.

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