By most accounts, the 2017 Country Music Awards seemed to go off without a hitch, featuring performances from a who’s-who of modern country stars like Little Big Town, Miranda Lambert, and Carrie Underwood. As well as taking home the award for Entertainer of the Year, country icon Garth Brooks performed during the show, but his take on Gunslinger‘s “Ask Me How I Know” is drawing fire from some of his contemporaries due to confirmed lip-syncing.
“I keep a lot of my opinions to myself and respect anyone making music but as a person who tries to put on the best and most honest show I can night after night… this truly offends me,” country artist Anderson East tweeted earlier this week, referring to Garth’s performance. “If you can’t sing then don’t. It’s better to be honest than to pretend,” added Miranda Lambert, who is currently dating East. “I think it’s bull shit. My favorite performances in the show were live live. The truth.”
To his credit, Brooks didn’t deny lip-syncing, citing his busy touring schedule as a reason for the state of his voice.
“We’re in the middle of 12 shows in 10 days. Not 10 shows in 12 days, 12 shows in 10 days,” he told reporters backstage as soon as he hit the press room after the show. “We did a game-time call on whether to sing the track or lip-sync, and decided to lip-sync. The voice just isn’t there anymore, and you want to represent country music as best you can.”