It didn’t take long for critics and fans to take a stance following Beyoncé’s appearance at the 50th annual CMA Awards on Nov. 2.
Some folks appreciated her surprise duet of “Daddy Lessons” with the Dixie Chicks, while others thought she just didn’t belong at a ceremony dubbed as “Country Music’s Biggest Night.”
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Now, Travis Tritt is lending his voice to the heated debate surrounding Queen Bey’s presence at Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena. In a series of tweets that took place on Nov. 3-4, the “T-R-O-U-B-L-E” star reasoned that “Country music has appealed to millions for many years,” and concluded that it “can stand on [it’s] own,” without the inclusion of a pop-artist.
Name checking artists like Loretta Lynn, Tammy Wynette and Patsy Cline, he adds, “I love honest to God country music and feel the need to stand up for it at all costs. We don’t need pop or rap artists to validate us.”
To further explain his argument, Travis made note that award shows like the BET and SoulTrain awards have yet to ask a country artist to perform onstage as a guest, so why should stars like Beyoncé be invited to the CMA’s?
Travis also clarified that he was in no way trying to sound prejudice, and he wasn’t just taking aim at Beyoncé. He was airing out his frustrations at pop-music as a whole, and thought it was unnecessary for other genres to be brought into the country format.
“[I] never thought I would ever be labeled as a racist. Race has nothing to do with it,” Travis explained, “Nobody in [country music] has done more to bridge racial gaps than me. I’ve worked with Charlie Pride, Buddy Guy, B.B. King, Patti Labelle, Randy Jackson, Sam Moore, Ray Charles [and] Isaac Hayes.”
Of course, Beyoncé isn’t the first pop/R&B singer to perform at the CMA Awards. Last year Justin Timberlake joined forces with Chris Stapleton for a medley of “Tennessee Whiskey” and “Drink You Away.” In 2014, Ariana Grande belted out “Bang Bang” with Little Big Town.
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Travis did not attend this year’s celebration, and only caught wind of the Beyoncé and Dixie Chicks collaboration. Instead, he played a gig in Bowling Green, Kentucky.
You can see more of Travis’ Twitter rant below.