ACM Awards 1994: Alan Jackson Gives Middle Finger To Producers, Sends Drummer Out Without Drumsticks To Protest Pre-Recorded Track

Alan Jackson country music ACM Awards

We’re only a day away from the ACM Awards.

And over the past week, we’ve taking a look back at some of the more memorable moments from the Academy of Country Music Awards over the years.

We recently took a look back at Miranda Lambert’s 2019 shade towards Blake Shelton during a performance of “Little Red Wagon,” Travis Tritt and actor Joe Pesci performing together in 1992, Ashton Kutcher looking like a clown in 2012, and of course, the Dixie Chicks getting booed during their Entertainer of the Year nomination (which Toby Keith won…. awkward).

For this one we’re taking it back to 1994, and what, in my mind, is the greatest country music awards show moment in history.

And what a year that was… I was 6 years old, The Lion King was in theaters, O.J. was running from the cops in a white Ford Bronco, beloved rock legend Kurt Cobain passed away, Slick Willie was the President of the United States, and…

Alan Jackson was giving a big fat middle finger to the Academy of Country Music with his performance of “Gone Country” at the 29th Annual ACM Awards

Although Jackson ended up taking home quite a few awards and was nominated for a bunch of others, he got pissed when producers told him that he had to perform with a pre-recorded backing track.

Alan was, and still is, an old school dude. You don’t lip sync, you don’t use pre-recorded tracks… live music is live music and there is no faking it.

So what did Alan do?

He sent his drummer Bruce Rutherford out there with no drumsticks.

That’s right, ol’ Bruce is behind the drum kit just waving his hands around like a mad man at nothing… absolutely priceless.

What a legend.

You see, Alan knew how to make a point, ruffle some feathers, and let his opinion be known without making a huge scene. A guy like Waylon Jennings would just walk his ass out and not perform (which he did, a number of times).

But Alan knew how to be subtle, yet effective…

Alan, who was also co-hosted the ceremony alongside Reba McEntire that night, was also interviewed by Dick Clark back stage. And of course, Dick had some questions about why Alan was wearing a cutoff Hank Williams shirt at a rather formal gathering.

Alan’s response was classic Alan:

“Well, I love Hank, and I get a lot of gifts on the road playing, and a fan gave me this shirt.

I just saw it in the closet before I came out here this weekend and I grabbed it and said, ‘I’m gonna wear it for my song,’ you know, ‘Gone Country.’ Hank’s country.”

Like I said… LEGEND.

At the CMA Awards in 1999, Alan would also deliver a protest performance of George Jones’ “Choices” after the show cut Possum’s own performance slot down.

Alan thought it was bullshit that they wanted George Jones to cut time (George declined to even attend after that), and in a show of solidarity, Alan performed a George Jones song during the second half of his own time on stage.

Message received…

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ACM Awards Nominations

And the nominees are…

The 58th Academy of  Country Music Awards are upon us, and there are quite a few notable categories this year.

Firstly, Morgan Wallen received his first nomination for the coveted Entertainer of the Year award, and his friend, Hardy, leads the pack with seven nominations in total. The great Lainey Wilson is right behind Hardy with six nominations, and they shared the nod on three categories for their song “wait in the truck.”

And lastly, Zach Bryan earned his first ACM nomination in the New Male Artist of the Year category, which is pretty cool to see.

Of course, usual ACM heavy hitters Chris Stapleton, Miranda Lambert, Luke Combs, and more were also nominated in multiple categories.

The dynamic duo of Dolly Parton and Garth Brooks will co-host the show for the first time on May 11th at 8:00 PM EDT exclusively on Amazon Prime. It will be livestreamed at The Star in Frisco, Texas.

And with all that being said, here are the nominees:

Entertainer of the Year

Jason Aldean
Kane Brown
Luke Combs
Miranda Lambert
Chris Stapleton
Carrie Underwood
Morgan Wallen

Female Artist of the Year

Kelsea Ballerini
Miranda Lambert
Ashley McBryde
Carly Pearce
Lainey Wilson

Male Artist of the Year

Kane Brown
Luke Combs
Jordan Davis
Chris Stapleton
Morgan Wallen

Duo of the Year

Brooks & Dunn
Brothers Osborne
Dan + Shay
Maddie & Tae
The War and Treaty

Group of the Year

Lady A
Little Big Town
Old Dominion
Zac Brown Band

New Female Artist of the Year

Priscilla Block
Megan Moroney
Caitlyn Smith
Morgan Wade
Hailey Whitters

New Male Artist of the Year

Zach Bryan
Jackson Dean
Dylan Scott
Nate Smith
Bailey Zimmerman

Album of the Year

Ashley McBryde Presents: Lindeville – Ashley McBryde
Bell Bottom Country – Lainey Wilson
Growin’ Up – Luke Combs
Mr. Saturday Night – Jon Pardi
Palomino – Miranda Lambert

Single of the Year

“Heart Like A Truck” – Lainey Wilson
“Never Wanted To Be That Girl” – Carly Pearce & Ashley McBryde
“She Had Me At Heads Carolina” – Cole Swindell
“Thank God” – Kane Brown with Katelyn Brown
“‘Til You Can’t” – Cody Johnson

Song of the Year

“Sand In My Boots” – Morgan Wallen
“She Had Me At Heads” Carolina – Cole Swindell
“‘Til You Can’t” – Cody Johnson
“wait in the truck” – HARDY feat. Lainey Wilson
“You Should Probably Leave” – Chris Stapleton

Visual Media of the Year

“HEARTFIRST” – Kelsea Ballerini
“She Had Me At Heads Carolina” – Cole Swindell
“Thank God” – Kane Brown with Katelyn Brown
“‘Til You Can’t” – Cody Johnson
“wait in the truck” – HARDY feat. Lainey Wilson
‘What He Didn’t Do” – Carly Pearce

Songwriter of the Year

Nicolle Galyon
Ashley Gorley
Chase McGill
Josh Osborne
Hunter Phelps

Music Event of the Year

“At the End of a Bar” – Chris Young with Mitchell Tenpenny
“She Had Me At Heads Carolina [Remix]” – Cole Swindell & Jo Dee Messina
“Thank God” – Kane Brown with Katelyn Brown
“Thinking ‘Bout You” – Dustin Lynch feat. MacKenzie Porter
“wait in the truck” – HARDY feat. Lainey Wilson

A beer bottle on a dock



A beer bottle on a dock