Country music has long cross-pollinated with other musical genres, yet a genre-bending performance at last night’s 50th Annual CMA Awards rubbed some conservative country fans the wrong way.
The performance in question featured Beyonce joined by Dixie Chicks for a down-home rendition of her hit “Daddy Lessons”, which caused so much outrage in certain quarters that the Country Music Association (which puts on the awards show) wound up scrubbing all references to the musical collaboration from its social media accounts after being flooded with racist, hateful comments.
Reaction to the performance makes it clear just how divided America has become, with members of the Beyhive offering praise while others offered scorn — and worse.
According to TMZ, CMA made the decision to remove its own social media postings due to such comments as: “That’s right folks. Beyonce performed at the CMAs last night & is on a mission to take country music away from us, hardworking white people!” and, “Beyonce overrated racist n***er bitch.”
Other comments blasted the performance over its apparent link to the controversial Black Lives Matter movement, which some see as being anti-police. “@Beyonce the cop hater? No thanks,” reads one comment, while another states: “What place does @Beyonce who vilifies police officers who keep us safe have to do with #CMAawards50?”
However, the CMA has issued a statement claiming that they didn’t remove any photos of Bey and the Dixie Chicks from social media.
“CMA has not erased any mentions of Beyonce’s performance on the CMA Awards,” reads a statement from the association. “In advance of the broadcast, CMA removed a 5-second promotional clip from ABC.com and CMA’s Facebook page. The promo was unapproved and CMA removed it prior to the broadcast. Beyonce’s performance with Dixie Chicks was a highlight of the evening and we are continuing to share the amazing full-length performance clip via our official social channels.”
Meanwhile, the Chicks themselves have responded to the controversy via Twitter, writing: “If we all turn this up really loud, together we can drown out the hate.”
Following last night’s performance, Beyonce and the Dixie Chicks have jointly released a recording of “Daddy Lessons” and have made it available as a free download. Give it a listen right here: