Sunday night the Academy of Country Music held its 43rd Annual Award Show in Las Vegas this year. Kenny Chesney was awarded The Entertainer of The Year Award for the 4th year in a row, which ties with Garth Brooks and places him only one behind Alabama which received the award 5 times in a row.

This was the first year that the fans were allowed to pick the winners in each category by allowing them to place their votes on the internet. The top-selling country singer told reporters backstage in response to a question that Web voting had cheapened the show’s top prize.

“I don’t think it’s right that they picked the one award that means the most, that all the artists sacrificed the most for, and turned it into … a sweepstakes, to seeing who can push people’s buttons the hardest on the Internet,” he said.

“It’s a complete disrespect of the artists. I think because of that it really diminishes the integrity of the work.”

Chesney’s remarks made headline news and even had a Los Angeles Time Blogger go as far as asking the fans to take a vote as to whether or not they think Chesney should return the award.

CMT.com has published the letter Chesney wrote in full explaining his comments. If any of you fans care to read it, you can go here.

Jan Barrett

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