Mark TuckerGarth Brooks is the reigning CMA Entertainer of the Year -- indeed, he's won the award six times, more than any other artist. He's not nominated this year but he says he's happy for someone else to get the award, as long as they understand one important thing.
"The Entertainer [award] is everything to me, because that's what I do," Garth tells ABC Radio. "So as I do pass the baton, you can bet I'm going to say, 'I would like that back at some point!'"
Of course, Garth has some thoughts about this year's nominees: Luke Bryan, Jason Aldean, Chris Stapleton, Keith Urban and Kenny Chesney.
"An award is only as good as the names that are on it. So as an Entertainer [winner], you want somebody who truly is an entertainer," Garth notes. "There's a couple names in there that should have won this award and never have. So it would be nice to hear that name."
Nominees Chris Stapleton and Jason Aldean have never won Entertainer of the Year.
Garth wasn't nominated this year because he wasn't touring, but that'll change in 2019 when he launches his stadium tour. He previewed it with a show at Notre Dame Stadium last month. What did he learn from that experience?
"That a stadium can be a honky-tonk!" he tells ABC Radio. "It's all about sincerity. If these people are fired up to be there and the band and crew are fired up...then this place is gonna get really small really quick."
"Now, Notre Dame is the place for miracles, so I'm not saying that's how it's going to be everywhere else," Garth cautions. "But you can hope and pray it is, 'cause that was some of the most fun I've ever had!"
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