Eric Church opened up about not winning Entertainer of the Year at the 2019 CMA Awards and admits it was painful, but not in the way you might think.

The "Springsteen" singer touched on a wide range of topics that covered his career during an interview with Country Countdown USA's Lon Helton at CRS on Thursday (Feb. 20). At the very end, he was asked if losing Entertainer of the Year once again in 2019 was painful. The nod marked his third nomination in the category at the CMAs, to go with one nomination at the ACMs. He's never won.

"It was probably painful for the people around me more than it was me," he said, gaining an applause break from industry members in attendance. "It’s a trophy, that’s what it is, but not to the people that push those carts. Not to the fans."

“That was who I hurt for,” he added.

Days after the 2019 CMAs, Church played a show at the Anthem in Washington D.C., where he tweaked the lyrics to Waylon Jennings' "Are You Sure Hank Done It This Way" to be "I don't think Garth done it this way." Garth Brooks won the CMA Award for Entertainer of the Year in 2019, giving him seven wins in this category. Later, the Hall of Famer would say he wasn't mad at Church for what seemed like a dig, and that he understood the sentiment.

Church's remarks on Thursday support the idea that he was reflecting, not projecting.

“It’s a trophy. I’m still going to go play the same show," he said without any sense of tension or anxiety or contradicting body language. Then he closed with a thought on the "controversy" that supported everything he'd said during the hour-long talk.

"The minute you start making decisions to try to win trophies or try to move songs two spots higher on the chart, that becomes detrimental to your overall vision," Church said. It’s not about those things."

To close, the 42-year-old talked about his next album and the grueling recording process before playing a new song for those in attendance.

WATCH: Eric Church Performs a New Song and Talks About Album No. 6:

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