Over the past couple of years, Eric Church has been known to throw a little bit of shade Garth Brooks' way now and again. Now, the reigning CMA Entertainer of the Year is ready to respond -- well, sort of.

The drama all started back in 2017, when Church had strong opinions about Brooks' decision to lip-sync at the CMA Awards. "F--k that!" offered the "Some of It" superstar in an interview, months later, with Rolling Stone"And I didn't like his excuse at all. 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."

Brooks, meanwhile, stood by his decision, explaining that it was a "game-day decision" made to preserve his voice for another run of shows he had coming up right after the awards show. "What it's about is those people who put those butts in the seat, travel, fight that traffic -- that's who you save your voice for. We made the decision, and I gotta tell you, if it happened again tomorrow, I'd make the same decision," he pointed out.

That year, Church was nominated for Entertainer of the Year at the CMAs and ultimately lost to Brooks; the same thing happened again in 2019, perhaps opening some old wounds. Just a couple of days after this year's ceremony, Church subtly called out the just-crowned CMA winner, dropping the line "I know Garth Brooks didn't do it this way" into his cover of Waylon Jennings' "Are You Sure Hank Done it This Way?"

Brooks, then, weighed in on the drama during a recent interview with Broadway's Electric Barnyard, saying he simply doesn't spend time dwelling on any bad blood there may be between himself and Church. "You know what, for one, you just don't see it, you kinda don't look at it," Brooks offers.

"All I've heard from him, and you might be hearing different things, but I've heard from him that it doesn't bother him. But you know the line, you p--s the wrong fans off ...," Brooks continues, going on to say that accolades such as his Entertainer of the Year trophy simply speak to the bond between him and his fanbase.

Brooks and Church have different fanbases, of course, and Brooks understand that -- just as his is -- Church's success is predicated on the bond and trust he has with his listeners. After all, the mandate from fans that compels Brooks to save his voice for his touring shows may be the same mandate that leads Church to draw a hard line in the sand when it comes to lip-syncing. In both cases, the artists are deeply committed to their listeners.

Brooks also turned his attention to Church's own candidacy for Entertainer of the Year at the CMAs. Though he's been nominated multiple times, Church has never won the trophy.

"The year he wins it, it'll be the sweetest year for him," Brooks says. "So I just don't see it, I guess, [the drama that] everybody else is seeing."

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