NASHVILLE, Tenn., (WKRN) — The most coveted CMA award of the night, Entertainer of the Year, has some new blood this year.

With seven Entertainer of the Year wins under his belt, Garth Brooks has chosen to slide aside this year from the CMA’s top honor.

“We feel very lucky with seven, and it’s time for somebody else to hold that award and know what Entertainer of the Year feels like,” Brooks explained. 

A move that may have brought new blood into the category. “Another crazy twist on a pretty crazy year for everybody, and so I’m stoked you know,” Luke Combs told News 2. 

BERLIN, GERMANY – MARCH 06: American singer Luke Combs performs live on stage during a concert at the Country To Country Festival on March 6, 2020 in Berlin, Germany. (Photo by Frank Hoensch/Redferns)

Combs said it’s hard to believe because he moved to Nashville just over five years ago without a publishing deal.

“I kind of feel like the new kid a little bit, you know what I mean. Like, I feel like the young guy that doesn’t know what he’s in for yet as far as that category goes. And to be in there with four people that you admire as musicians and what they do for country music is an honor,” he said. 

Combs, who is up for six CMA awards, joins the likes of Keith Urban – who has been a mainstay in the category for years. Urban brought home the trophy in 2005 and again in 2019. Eric Church is also back again vying for the night’s top award.

But lookout, two women are also in the running for the Entertainer of the Year category. Carrie Underwood and Miranda Lambert are the first two solo women to face off in the category since 1979.

“I’m glad to see there be two females in that category. I think it’s really awesome and the chicks are back man,” stated Combs.