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Country superstar Garth Brooks debuted his new song, “Stronger than me.”  

It’s a love song to his wife, Trisha Yearwood.  

Brooks, who won Entertainer of the Year in 2017, was not up for an award on Wednesday night. The only thing he really wanted to do was to sing his new song. 

Yearwood heard it for the first time, along with the rest of the world as she sat in the audience, watching her husband sing at Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena.   

The audience gave him a standing ovation. 

When asked what made him so happy Brooks said, “I’m married to Trish Yearwood. You would be happy too!”

Before the 52nd annual CMA Awards competition heated up many of the artists and nominees made their way onto the red carpet.

Country artist Cole Swindell gushed about how great the talent around him was, “Anytime you’re on the carpet with you know this much talent and you’re not star struck, I don’t know man.”

Kacey Musgraves showed off her custom suit while shaking her tassels.

“Oh my gosh, Y’all this is custom, Versace. They made this suit for me and it’s really fun because its got a lot of western elements to it.”

We asked Scotty McCreery who was wearing a shiny silver suit jacket if he picked it out himself.

“Oh what do you think, you think I… I’m a t-shirt kind of guy, but my stylist Jen she gets me in different things I wouldn’t think I like, but I love this suit. It’s really sweet,” he smiled.

Country great Garth Brooks joked about looking into the eyes of someone other than his wife Trisha Yearwood while singing on stage.

“I’m going to find somebody not as good looking as her like Jason or somebody and stare at him the whole time I’m singing it,” Garth laughed. 

Many of the artists told us the night is not about taking home an award, but it’s about celebrating with the country music family.

The reigning CMA Entertainer of the Year is not nominated at this year’s CMA Awards. Now he says he may not even perform on the show.

Garth Brooks recently announced his 2019 stadium tour. At that event, he was also asked about the upcoming 52nd Annual CMA Awards. He said he’d been approached by the awards show but told them he had a specific song in mind. 

He said he has a new song, written by him, his band, and the engineer, about a woman. 

“It’s a song about the strength of a woman. And for me, that’s Trisha,” he said.

“So, what I offered to the CMAs was, ‘Let me sing this to her that night. She hasn’t heard it and she won’t hear it until that moment, nobody will,’ he said. “They’ve been very sweet. They kinda came back and said, ‘Hey look, something new that’s a ballad probably doesn’t work for us.’ So, cool. I’ll find some other way for her to hear it. Right now, we’re just coming to attend.”

So, unless something changes, one of the biggest names in country music won’t be performing during country’s biggest night. 

As for not being nominated, Brooks says he is not irritated at all. He said he’s actually relieved he can sit back and enjoy the show. 

“Some of your favorite shows to go to you are not nominated for anything,” he said. “You just get to enjoy everything, you get to laugh, you’re not worrying. Entertainer of the Year is at the end of the show, so you’re always nervous.”

“I’ve never stopped being the fangirl for more than two seconds,” he said. “I can’t be around George Straight for two seconds or I’m all over him asking questions. It’s so cool to see Jason [Aldean] on that night and see how he’s doing. And to run into Keith. People don’t realize that we’re not together every night. We get to catch up on awards night and it’s sort of a family reunion.”

As for his after-show plans, Garth said he and Trisha Yearwood may hit up Taco Bell.