Garth Brooks steps out of CMA Entertainer of the Year category

Garth Brooks wins Entertainer of the Year at the 53rd annual CMA Awards (AP Photo)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WZTV) — Garth Brooks has officially pulled himself out of the CMA Entertainer of the Year running, the country superstar announced during a press call Wednesday.

“To say you’ve had a good year when everyone is suffering, I don’t want to say that," the "Friends in Low Places" singer commented.

One tweet stuck out to Brooks, questioning why he doesn't step down and have the award be for someone representing the next generation of country music. He said, "100 percent agree.”

His decision stems from the reaction of country music fans to last year's win, a response he said "wasn't fun" for him. From there, Brooks approached the Country Music Association with the idea of establishing an entertainer of the year emeritus. After multiple meetings on the topic, the association said it's simply not their call to take him out of the category. The performer's comeback?

“We are going to do it ourselves. We are going to pull ourselves out of entertainer of the year."

Brooks has already won the top honor seven times in 2019, 2017, 2016, 1998, 1997, 1992, and 1991. He said the last thing he wants to do is seem ungrateful.

“I feel very lucky with seven. It’s time for somebody else to hold that award and know what that entertainer feels like, because they’re all out there busting their butts," Brooks said.

He wanted to make the announcement before nominations rolled out for the 2020 awards.

"This is probably the perfect year for it," Brooks said. "It’s trying with all the love in the world to do something that I think is the right time to do it. It feels great, and I feel very grateful.”

The country music standout said he wants to focus on what's important.

“Us as a nation dividing, trying to stitch that bond back, those are the important things right now," the household country name continued.

During the pandemic, Brooks has hosted a series of drive-in concerts, but he can't wait to safely return to the stage with a live audience.

"I could do this for the next 100 years. I cannot wait to get out there," Brooks said.

This is a developing story. Updates will be posted here.