Classic CMA Awards Moments, #11: Garth and his Georges (1991)

#11: Garth Brooks
Entertainer of the Year speech

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):


  1. I know I will be alone in my opinion. And I am sure many of you will want to come after me with guns cocked- But after “The Dance” and ” Friends In Low Places” Garth Brooks, in my opinion, became unbearable. His music drifted to the shore of bland and trite, his “I’m a humble guy” act became more and more unreal as he released, rereleased, and repackaged his music just so he could sell 100 million records.
    I always thought that what Garth Brooks did to country was below the belt. He took a real sound, ran it through pop music thoughts, added a dash of cowboy image, and then soaked in the attention of want to be cowboys and cowgirls around the world. His songs were not country music as much as they were about country music. Although standard practice now, there was a time when a great country said something about a real human condition. Garth Brooks only used the surface of human condition in order to say ” Hey look at me! Don’t you just love me!”

    In time I hope people will judge Brooks in a realistic manner. He still smells of country icon without the suffering, the development or the real stories to back it up. And in his wake he has left the Keith Urbans, Kenny Chesneys, Shaina Twains, and the Rascal Flatts of our time. The saddest note of all is that I think Brooks has a great voice. But all too often he wanted to hear that voice over the story that country music is suppose to supply.

    I am sorry if any of his fans are insulted by this opinion. That was not my intent.

  2. Craig, I disagree with some of those statements, but I do agree that Brooks did play that cowboy act(as many people still do) till today, which imo isn’t what the true image of what country music is, but at the same time he didn’t go off with this ‘hick’ or redneck image that many country acts are doing these days. Gretchen did a nice job with the “Redneck Woman” song, but it has been overplayed too much.

    Saying that, IMHO, Garth has been deserving of everyone of these awards. He has been my inspiration for what it means to be a true entertainer.

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