Come this Wednesday, plenty of playas wearing cowboy hats and playettes with big hair will be at the Bridgestone Arena in Nashville where the 56th Annual Country Music Association Awards will take place. But not everyone feels equally welcome at the annual party.
Yes, the titans and titans of contemporary country music will be there for awards, many of which have roots right here in Texas. Longview’s Miranda Lambert (the most decorated artist in ACM Awards history, with 37 trophies) is nominated for Entertainer of the Year and Female Vocalist of the Year, while the New Artist category of the year has two Lone Star sons: Parker McCollum of Conroe and Cody Johnson of Sebastopol. As for bands, we have Dripping Springs’ Midland nominated for Vocal Group, and Maddie & Tae, featuring Sugar Land-born Maddie Font, with a Vocal Duo nomination.
Country-pop little princess Maren Morris, originally from Arlington, is also nominated. His last album humble quest earned an album of the year nod. But even though Morris has been a big winner at past CMAs, don’t expect her to show up this year. “Honestly, I haven’t decided if I’m going to go,” she said. say it Los Angeles Times. I am very honored to have my album nominated. But I don’t know if I feel [at] at home there right now.
Why would a country superstar like Morris feel like she wouldn’t be welcome at country music’s biggest night? Well, for starters, she might be scared of meeting Jason Aldean’s wife.
Last August, Brittany Aldean, the country singer’s beautiful blogger, posted makeup video on instagram with the caption: “I would really like to thank my parents for not changing my gender when I went through my tomboy phase. I love this girl life. Her husband posted a comment saying, “Lmao!! I’m glad they didn’t too, because you and I wouldn’t have worked.
Many people did not like Ms Aldean’s problematic comments, including Morris. When pop/country singer Cassadee Pope tweeted about itMorris replied with, “Is it so easy, like, not to be a human bastard? Sell your clips and zip ’em up, Barbie Insurrection.
Tell us how you really feel, Maren!
It appears to have sparked a small feud between the two sides – Mr Aldean gave Morris a cry inducing to boo in his shows, while Morris has created “Lunatic Country Music Person” t-shirts after Tucker Carlson called her that on his Fox News show. (So far the shirts raised $150,000 for organizations supporting transgender youth.) But standing up for the LGBTQ+ crowd is something Morris says she’s done since growing up in Arlington as a theater kid, hanging out with LGBTQ+ people and living in a family where a parent has died of AIDS. “It was just always very normal,” she said in a YouTube interview with GLAAD. “I didn’t realize how important that was until I hit my twenties and solidified my adulthood and started working in country music.”
Country music past and present features many LGBTQ+ artists: masked troubadour Orville Peck, singer-turned-producer Shane McAnally, the two Brandies, Brandi Carlile and Brandy Clark. Ty Herndon and Chely Wright both dated in People magazine. And let’s not forget the early country-punk of kd lang. But the genre, along with its conservative, heteronormative fan base, is known to get a little mean-spirited whenever unconventional artists show up and get their feet tapped. Remember when the flamboyant Lil Nas X had a hit on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart with “Old Town Road,” only to have it disqualified by the magazine for not being country enough? (Since Nas hadn’t come out yet at the time, I think it had more to do with this guy being a black country rapper rather than gay.)
It’s quite comforting to know that Morris is a country artist from these very conservative regions who isn’t afraid to be woken up by Bud’s greedy shitkickers. And she’s not the only Texas-born voice making her point. Kacey Musgraves, the golden girl (from Golden, Texas!) who a longtime LGBTQ+ allylashed out at Texas Senator Ted Cruz when she performed at Austin City Limits Fest last month. During another night at the Fest, she showed how depressed she was over Beto O’Rourke when the Democratic gubernatorial candidate came on stage and handed her a beer. At the same festival, The Chicks of Dallas (formerly The Dixie Chicks), who notoriously received backlash when lead singer Natalie Maines declared her distaste for then-President George W. Bush, also threw their support behind O ‘Rourke. during their first weekend set. “If there’s a woman in your life you care about, vote Beto,” Maines said, wearing a t-shirt featuring the face of late U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
Houston bar owner/DJ Lindsay Rae Burleson is a fan of all these artists, and she finds that female country artists who are not afraid to play politics receive more criticism than male artists. She remembers not hearing a word from people when Tyler Childers released Long violent history, a 2020 album whose title track dealt with racial injustice. (Childers has won support from fellow outlaws Chris Stapleton and Sturgill Simpson, who have both been criticized for their leftist beliefs.) “We have seen in the past that this affects women much more than men, and it’s just a huge problem in the country,” Burleson said.
Old-school fans might want these ladies down from their soapboxes so they can “shut up and sing,” to quote an obnoxious Laura Ingraham book title aimed at chicks. But Morris, Musgraves, The Chicks and even Lambert (who recently started a residency in Las Vegas and recently gave a Vulture interview where she says she is then bowing to country radio) appeal to audiences that are both dedicated and open-minded.
Quinn Bishop, owner of Houston-based record store Cactus Music, says these artists always have fans ready to buy their albums.
“Obviously the Chicks have cooled down considerably since their anti-Bush rant, but they have their fans and probably always will,” Bishop said. “Maren has a much younger fanbase and is probably the lightest seller of the three for us. She is remarkably talented and her fans seem to really identify with her, which will ensure her longevity in her career. Kacey is the ‘one of the biggest sellers in our store since her debut album.Although she has locked herself in the contemporary country market, she also has great appeal for classic country fans who love Loretta. [Lynn]Tammie [Wynette] and cart [Parton]. Her shift to pop music has worked well for her and has only broadened her fanbase.
As Burleson will remind you, it’s classic country legends like Lynn (who died last month), Wynette and this beloved gay icon Parton who allowed Morris, Musgraves and the Chicks to express themselves, whether or not they had a guitar in their hands. Burleson added, “Loretta Lynn had ‘The Pill.’ Tammy Wynette had ‘DIVORCE.’
Burleson is happy that these Lone Star girls are continuing the feisty feminist tradition that these female artists of yesteryear started. “It’s an amazing thing to have artists like Maren Morris, Kacey Musgraves and the Chicks who are ready to express themselves and aren’t afraid of how it’s going to affect their careers,” she said. declared. “I think people who have a platform should be advocates for what they believe in.”