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Watch now: Reigning CMA Entertainer of the Year Garth Brooks has a message for this year’s winner

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!" 

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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Watch Now: David Lee Murphy, official songwriter of No Shoes Nation?

Reviver Entertainment GroupThe CMA Awards air live from Nashville Wednesday night on ABC.  "Everything's Gonna Be Alright," Kenny Chesney and David Lee Murphy's #1 duet, is nominated for Musical Event of the Year.  David Lee, best known for his '90s hits "Dust on the Bottle" and "Party Crowd," says this is a career milestone for him.

"This is the first time that I've been nominated for the CMAs but it really feels great...just to be here," David Lee told ABC Radio on Monday.  "Just to have a song in consideration with Kenny...[it's] really cool...it's gonna be a fun week!"

Even before Kenny produced his album No Zip Code, David Lee had penned many songs for the four-time CMA Entertainer of the Year winner.  But he rejects the idea that he just might be the official songwriter for No Shoes Nation.

"Well, I don't know about that," he laughs. "There's some pretty good songwriters out there that contribute to
all those records.  But I sure do love being a part of it and they've shown me a lot of love, so I love every bit of it."

David Lee recalls getting the news that "Everything's Gonna Be Alright" hit number one the night he performed with Kenny in Columbus, OH.  

"I think the same night, we got a good record, so it was double fun," he says. "And I remember that night they brought me out this gigantic margarita onstage!"

"But just the whole 2018...it's just been fantastic to be out here, having new music and getting to hang out with all my buddies and play music." 

Tune in to see if David Lee and Kenny pick up a CMA Wednesday night at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.

 Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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