The star of Garth Brooks was burning brighter than ever by the time of the 1991 ceremony. His win for the 1990 Horizon award was only a precursor to his tremendous success of the following year. Brooks’ “The Dance” had earned him a Single of the Year nod in 1990, and his timeless anthem “Friends in Low Places” did one better by taking the Single trophy in 1991.
That same evening, his record-setting No Fences claimed the Album of the Year prize, but it was his Entertainer of the Year victory that was most memorable. He gained a great deal of laughter from the industry crowd when he quipped that he loved his Georges, Jones and Strait among them, and then quickly acknowledged the most famous of them, President George Bush, who was seating in the front row with wife Barbara.
Winning became habit-forming for Brooks, and the Entertainer honor only hinted at his future fortunes. He owns 11 CMA awards, including a record four Entertainer of the Year victories (1991, 1992, 1997 and 1998).
Garth Brooks, video, “If Tomorrow Never Comes” (1989):