Travis Tritt Goes on Twitter Rant After Beyonce’s CMA Awards Performance
Travis Tritt was not a big fan of Beyonce's performance at the 2016 CMA Awards, to put it mildly. The country star turned to Twitter to post a string of observations about how poor a fit he felt it was for a country audience, as well as the motives behind the appearance.
Beyonce performed her song "Daddy Lessons," from her Lemonade album, at the ceremony in a joint performance with the Dixie Chicks, who made a surprise return to the awards after years of being on the outs with the country music establishment.
The song segued into their hit, "Long Time Gone," in reference to their return, and while critics raved about the over-the-top appearance, many country fans online had an almost violently negative reaction, deriding Beyonce's pop origins, her barely-there costume, her perceived anti-law enforcement stance and the Dixie Chicks' comments against former President George W. Bush in the buildup to the Iraq War.
Tritt played a gig in Bowling Green, Ky., the night after the CMAs, and afterward, he turned to social media to post, "Sorry we weren't able to do any Beyonce for all the country fans."
He later added, "FYI - My band and I are gonna try to work up Beyonce's 'All The Single Ladies' for all you die hard country fans who love traditional music!"
Tritt's complaint wasn't aimed specifically at Beyonce or the content of the performance, but rather, his belief that she didn't belong on a show that was celebrating the 50th anniversary of the CMAs.
"As a country artist I'm insulted that the CMA thinks we have to have a pop artist on our award show to appeal to big crowds," he said, adding that nothing he was saying was motivated by race and that he wasn't afraid of not being politically correct, and posting a long list of black artists he has collaborated with over the years.
"Apparently, the CMA thinks Beyonce is as relevant to country music as Loretta Lynn, Tammy Wynette or Patsy Cline," he lamented, adding, "I'll tell you why! Because the CMA folks don't think country music is strong enough to stand on its own."
Some other prominent country artists felt differently. Chris Stapleton told reporters in the press room after the show that “She’s everything you want her to be,” (quote via the Boot). "She’s a classy, classy lady, and I’m proud that she could take the time to come show up.”
Kenny Chesney released an official statement on Friday (Nov. 4), after he felt fans online mischaracterized his facial expression during the performance as a negative reaction.
"I love Beyonce," he stated, adding that he was "really watching" the performance, and that's what was mistaken in his expression.
“I believe music is great or not,” said Chesney. “It has nothing to do with genre, gender or color. Just did you bring it, and how great are your songs? To me, there’s no question about Beyonce -- or my response to their performance.”
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