January 30, 1996
Web posted at: 4:15 p.m. EST
LOS ANGELES (CNN) -- The American Music Awards heard a new tune Monday night after it announced the artist of the year.
Garth Brooks, who won the award, told the audience he didn't believe in the concept of an artist of the year, and said others were just as worthy as he. (238K AIFF sound or 238K WAV sound)
"So I'm going to leave it here," he said.
Brooks then walked away, leaving the evening's last award on the podium to the delight of the cheering crowd as AMA was left to sing the blues. "I couldn't accept it, just out of the love of the fellow musicians. I think we're all one," Brooks said afterward.
His surprise concluded an evening of awards and dazzling performances by many of music's elite in the 23rd annual event.
But Brooks wasn't the only one to express dissatisfaction with the awards ceremony. Earlier in the evening, Mariah Carey, the favorite female artist in soul-rhythm & blues and pop-rock, said in her acceptance speech, "This is so weird, the whole competition thing."
Brooks said Hootie & the Blowfish should have won artist of the year because people he spoke to in record stores credited the band with turning record sales around.
The other nominees for the award were Boyz II Men, Green Day and TLC.
The awards program was broadcast on ABC from the Shrine Auditorium, with comedians Jeff Foxworthy and Sinbad sharing host duties. Awards are based on a national survey of 20,000 record buyers. (2.2MB QuickTime movie)
Copyright © 1996 Cable News Network, Inc.
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
External sites are not endorsed by CNN Interactive.