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Luke Bryan spoke to the media yesterday (7/29) and during the session, he was asked about Garth Brooks’ announcement that he wishes to permanently remove himself from Entertainer of the Year consideration at the CMA Awards. Bryan noted that when he won the honor in 2014 and 2015, he felt he earned it.

“I truly believe that when I won, I was deserving. Hell, I really felt like the best entertainer that year. And there’s been years where I felt like the best entertainer and I didn’t win, but that’s just the way it goes.”

Garth decided he doesn’t want to be considered any longer, admitting even he fully expected Carrie Underwood to win last November. Bryan said that he did too. He said, “My thought is, if we go for some long period of time and Carrie Underwood never wins a CMA Entertainer of the Year, that’s quite disturbing for me, because she’s definitely … she’s done everything you can do to win, in my opinion.”

He added: “And that goes for Eric (Church).”

Neither Underwood nor Church has ever won Entertainer of the Year at the CMA Awards. Both are candidates to be nominees again in 2020, but the actual nominations won’t be revealed for several more weeks.

Born Here Live Here Die Here is Bryan’s seventh studio album and will be released on August 7.