Eric Church Shades Garth Brooks With in-Concert Call-Out [WATCH]
On Wednesday night (Nov. 13), Garth Brooks won his record-setting seventh CMA Entertainer of the Year award, his third in four years, besting fellow nominees Eric Church, Chris Stapleton, Carrie Underwood and Keith Urban. Fans of both Church and Underwood pushed hard on social media, both before and after the 2019 CMA Awards, for their beloved artists to win, sharing feelings that a fresher name deserved the evening’s top prize -- and, apparently, the Chief agrees with them.
During his Saturday night (Nov. 16) performance in Washington, DC, Church covered Waylon Jennings’ “Are You Sure Hank Done It This Way?” and there’s something more newsworthy about the country star hat-tipping Hoss than his slick transition into Ram Jam’s “Black Betty.” Footage from the concert shows Church dropping in the line “I know Garth didn’t do it this way,” a bit of shade toward the country icon.
Video shows Church appearing to hold back laughter before delivering his punchline, and he clearly shares a moment with his band afterwards. Perhaps it was simply a lighthearted inside joke played out in public -- or perhaps Church truly did mean to slam Brooks, just as he and others did after Brooks admitted to lip-syncing during the 2017 CMA Awards broadcast, shortly before being named that year's CMA Entertainer of the Year.
"F--k that!" Church said when he shared his feelings on the matter months later, during an interview with Rolling Stone. "And I didn't like his excuse at all," the singer added of Brooks' explanation that his voice "was just not there," and he decided to lip-sync rather than cancel the televised performance.
"I felt like he was speaking for the other nominees. I can speak for myself: I'm not lip-syncing. If I can't sing, I won't sing, or I'll sing badly. But at least you'll get what you get," Church continued. "To me, lip-syncing is and always will be a red line. It's fabricated. I don't want young artists thinking it's okay, because it's not."
As for Brooks, he was busy entertaining more than 84,000 people on Saturday night, at a Stadium Tour stop at Neyland Stadium in Knoxville, Tenn.
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