CMA Awards 2016: Travis Tritt Criticized For Twitter Rant On Beyoncé’s Performance With The Dixie Chicks

Travis Tritt Beyonce
Dave Abbott/Beyonce

Beyoncé‘s debut “country album” is officially here.

Of course the pop star herself clarified that COWBOY CARTER isn’t a country album, calling it a “Beyoncé album” instead. But ahead of the album’s release, Beyoncé revealed that it was inspired by an experience years ago when she says she “didn’t feel welcomed” in country music:

“This album has been over five years in the making. It was born out of an experience that I had years ago where I did not feel welcomed…and it was very clear that I wasn’t. But, because of that experience, I did a deeper dive into the history of Country music and studied our rich musical archive. It feels good to see how music can unite so many people around the world, while also amplifying the voices of some of the people who have dedicated so much of their lives educating on our musical history…

This ain’t a Country album. This is a ‘Beyoncé’ album. This is act ii COWBOY CARTER, and I am proud to share it with y’all!”

Many people assume she’s referring to the 2016 CMA Awards, when Beyoncé joined the Dixie Chicks for a performance of her song “Daddy Lessons.” It’s been reported that Alan Jackson walked out on the performance (though that’s never been confirmed).

But one artist who wasn’t afraid to publicly criticize the performance was Travis Tritt.

Tritt, who wasn’t at the awards himself, went on a lengthy public Twitter rant calling out the CMAs for including pop artists on country music’s biggest night:

“Thanks to everyone who came out to see us in Bowling Green, KY tonight. Sorry we weren’t able to do any Beyoncé for all the country fans.”

Many country fans were in total agreement with Travis, after years of complaints about pop artists appearing on the CMA Awards. (2016 also happened to be the 50th anniversary of the awards show, and a year when organizers said they would be focusing on the history of country music).

But there were also plenty who thought Travis singled out Beyoncé for another reason, and were quick to criticize his rant as racist:

But Travis doubled down, maintaining that his complaint had nothing to do with race, but rather pop artists on “country music’s biggest night.”

And Travis further clarified his comments in an interview, calling it “insulting” that the CMAs think that they need to include pop artists to get ratings:

“It wasn’t so much about just Beyoncé. This is a complaint that I’ve heard for a long time, actually for decades. Back in the ’90s, it was Elton John or Sting or whoever. Every year, the CMA television producers feel a need to bring in acts from other genres, and it’s always done to boost ratings.

I understand the concept behind that, but at the same time, I’ve always found it a little bit insulting — from the standpoint of being a country music artist, because this is a format that I’ve been a part of since the very beginning in my career. It’s a format that I have seen grow a tremendous amount in the 27 years that I’ve been doing this.”

He also said that the accusations that his stance had something to do with Beyoncé’s race were “sad.”

“It’s very strange to me. I’ve had open discussions about this on social media for the last 10 days, and the fact is that while there are a lot of people that try to twist this into being something different than what it is, being motivated by something different than what it’s motivated by, the fact is that this is something that I’ve been very vocal about for a long time.

Race has nothing to do with it. That’s what I’ve tried to make clear from the very beginning. We should be better than that. To make everything about race, to me, it makes me sad to be honest.”

It’s a conversation that’s popped up again since Beyoncé announced her country-inspired album back in February – and I have a feeling it’s not one that’s going to go away any time soon.

A beer bottle on a dock



A beer bottle on a dock