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Toby Keith may be nominated for his first CMA award in seven years—for Music Video of the Year for "Red Solo Cup"—but don't expect to see the notoriously anti-CMA singer at next week's big show.
"Hell no, I ain’t showing up. I gotta go get a root canal that day, or something fun," he tells Country Weekly. The sole nomination marks Toby's first since his four nominations in 2005, including Entertainer of the Year, and a win in Music Video of the Year for "As Good as I Once Was." Despite being nominated 27 times in his career, that win was only the second for Toby, who in the past has suggested the CMA Awards are politically driven.
Even so, he laughs that the organization couldn't ignore the phenomenon of "Red Solo Cup."
"Isn’t that crazy?" he says. "But, you know, it’s the only song I ever had cross over and play on the pop stations. Ever. All of my peers that are hard ticket sellers, successful people, at the top of the game we play every day, about every one of them has had a certain amount of crossover play: Taylor, Tim, Keith, Flatts, Faith. I was always the one guy in that generation that didn’t. [Pop stations] were always like, ‘He is so country, we’re not going to play him.’ And I always took pride in that.”
The 46th annual CMA Awards air Nov. 1 at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.
Look for more on Toby in the Nov. 5 issue of Country Weekly, on stands Oct. 29.