“It’s time for somebody else to hold that award,” he said in a press conference on Wednesday, according to The Tennessean.
Brooks, 58, last won the award in 2019 beating out fellow country musicians Carrie Underwood, Eric Church, Keith Urban and Chris Stapleton. He admitted he made the decision because of a tweet he couldn’t stop thinking about.
“There’s one tweet in there that really stuck in my head,” Brooks said. “It said, ‘Hey, man. This guy, why doesn’t he just step down (and leave) the entertainer for the next generation?’ 100% agree.”
“The last thing I want to do is seem ungrateful,” he added, but “it’s time for somebody else to hold that award … ’cause they’re all out there busting their butts.”
Brooks said, “With all the love in the world, we are officially pulling ourselves out of ‘Entertainer of the Year.'”
The 54th Annual CMA Awards are still on track to take place in November in Nashville and voting began last month.
Brooks recently released a new song, “We Belong to Each Other,” which is off his highly anticipated next album, “Fun.”
The hitmaker said the album is done but he doesn’t feel it’s appropriate to release it during a pandemic.
“I don’t want to be the guy that tries to do something in the midst where everybody is hurting,” Brooks explained. “The album’s ready to go. It’s just, how do you get out and promote and be happy and jolly while everybody’s out there fighting for their lives not only physically, but fighting for their lives financially?”