Garth Brooks wins top honor at CMAs

Baltimore Sun - - ENTERTAINMENT - — As­so­ci­ated Press

Garth Brooks, who last year re­turned to mu­sic after a 13-year break, won en­ter­tainer of the year at the Coun­try Mu­sic As­so­ci­a­tion Awards on Wed­nes­day, where Bey­once and the Dixie Chicks’ sur­prise duet per­for­mance was met with love and hate.

Brooks beat out Car­rie Un­der­wood, Chris Sta­ple­ton, Keith Ur­ban and last year’s top-prize win­ner, Luke Bryan.

“We are so damn lucky to part of this thing called coun­try mu­sic,” Brooks yelled loudly at the Bridge­stone Arena in Nashville, Tenn.

Bey­once, per­form­ing at the coun­try awards show for the first time, sang her twangy song “Daddy Lessons” on a night cel­e­brat­ing the CMA Awards’ 50th an­niver­sary. The per­for­mance also marked a re­turn for the Dixie Chicks to the show after a long ab­sence.

Bey­once and the trio’s ap­pear­ance, though, wasn’t cheered by every­one: On so­cial me­dia some fans tweeted an­grily about the per­for­mance; some coun­try mu­sic fans have dis­liked Dixie Chicks since band mem­ber Natalie Maines crit­i­cized for­mer U.S. Pres­i­dent Ge­orge W. Bush over a decade ago.

Dolly Par­ton, who earned the Wil­lie Nel­son Life­time Achieve­ment Award, was hon­ored by Reba, Un­der­wood, Martina McBride, Jen­nifer Net­tles and Kacey Mus­graves, who all sang a rous­ing ren­di­tion of “I Will Al­ways Love You.”

CHARLES SYKES/IN­VI­SION

Garth Brooks ac­cepts the award for en­ter­tainer of the year at the 50th an­nual CMA Awards on Wed­nes­day.

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