Monday, October 15The Voice of London

Beyoncé Faces Backlash After CMA Performance

Apparently, Texas born Beyoncé isn’t “country enough”

Reporter: Bella Dawe | Sub-Editor: Frances Cullen

This Wednesday, Beyoncé performed her song Daddy Lessons alongside legendary country singers Dixie Chicks at the 50th Country Music Awards show. However, the performance became controversial when country fans all over America began to leave negative comments on social media about the Lemonade singer’s involvement in the show.

Credit: Twitter @rollingstone
Credit: Twitter @rollingstone

Country fans were “outraged” by Beyoncé’s performance with tweeters claiming they changed the channel and waited until it was over to start watching the show again. Comments included those who referred to the singer as ‘racist’ because of her support of the BLM movement and her stance against police brutality.

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Although there is argument that Beyoncé’s music does not fit the ‘genre’ of the CMAs, you would have to be deaf to claim Daddy Lessons isn’t a country song, indicating that this was more to do with race and politics than music.

Tensions rose even higher when CMA apparently deleted all promotional content referencing Beyoncé’s performance from their website. It appeared that the organisation had given into the racist remarks of their fans and decided to remove any Beyoncé -related content to cool down the situation, however this led to further backlash on social media.

It’s hard to understand how Beyoncé could possibly be ‘offensive’ to country fans; the singer was after all born and raised in Texas, the home of country music. Perhaps this is yet more evidence of growing racial tensions brewing in the wake of the US Presidential election; police brutality and the BLM movement have become central to debates surrounding the political situation in the US. Beyonce’s latest visual album Lemonade contains scenes depicting the downfall of institutional racism in the form of police brutality, and her Black Panther costume at the 2016 SuperBowl also upset some viewers.

CMA issued a statement today clearing up the situation, claiming that their decision to remove promotional content referencing Beyoncé was made before the show aired, because it had not been approved by the singer’s team. Talking to People magazine, a spokesperson said:

CMA has not erased any mentions of Beyoncé’s performance on the CMA Awards. In advance of the broadcast, CMA removed a 5-second promotional clip from and CMA’s Facebook page,”  

“The promo was unapproved and CMA removed it prior to the broadcast. Beyoncé’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,” the organisation said. 

Social media users remain skeptical and many are left wondering if there is a place in country music for black artists. After this incident it seems, perhaps not. Considering that country music takes its routes from blues, a traditional form of black music, many fans are disappointed to see such a divide when it comes to diversity within the genre.