The singer won Entertainer of the Year on country music's big night

By Sarah Weldon
November 09, 2017 at 09:07 AM EST

For the second consecutive year and sixth time overall, Garth Brooks took home country music’s top honor Wednesday night at the 2017 Country Music Association Awards: Entertainer of the Year. Just before he was presented with the award, however, Brooks took the stage to perform “Ask Me How I Know” from his latest album Gunslinger, and viewers were quick to notice that he was lip-syncing.

Backstage after winning the coveted award, Brooks admitted to lip-syncing his performance, citing his lofty touring schedule.

“We’re in the middle of 12 shows in 10 days. Not 10 shows in 12 days, 12 shows in 10 days,” he explained. “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.”

Fans maintained that lip-syncing is not how a star should represent country music, with one Twitter user claiming that it’s “Not what entertainers of the year do.” Read some of the strongest reactions below.

Click here to see the full list of CMA Awards winners.