Sharing their official audio for “Daddy Lessons” on Soundcloud, Beyonce and the Dixie Chicks have made it clear that social media doesn’t dictate what they can or can’t do. The ladies opened up this week’s Country Music Awards 2016, boosting ratings to the highest they’ve ever been in CMA history. While the mash-up was arguably one of the most electrifying performances given at any award show this year, the CMAs still managed to receive extreme backlash for hosting a non-Country music singer on their stage (in addition to re-connecting with the Dixie Chicks years after their Anti-George Bush messaging).
Beyonce and the Dixie Chicks confidently performed Beyonce’s “Daddy Lessons” track from her larger-than-life Lemonade album, which is undoubtedly a country song that pays homage to Beyonce’s Texas and Louisiana roots. It should come as no surprise though that the majority of CMA’s social media accounts were under attack during and after the performance, which prompted the CMAs to avoid posting performance footage, despite every other artists’ performance having been tweeted out. While it’s true that the CMA audience probably doesn’t mirror Beyonce’s fanbase, you can’t take away or minimize someone’s heritage because they don’t necessarily look like country music in 2016. If you’ve done your research, you’ll realize that country music has a blended history that represents the presence of Blacks and Whites living in the south all at once.
Beyonce’s presence was a reminder that country music doesn’t just belong to one race. That was evidently bothersome to those who are only familiar with the appearance of present day country music. Country music in 2016 is largely considered a genre only welcoming to White men, with White women as the exception, and Black men and women becoming the ultimate outcasts. However, Beyonce’s courage to publicly unfit the mold was quite comforting to those of us who have displaced Southern roots that we frankly don’t pay enough attention to. Lyrics about rectifying a man’s adultery with a gun, instruments pulled straight from the belly of country music, and winded harmonies are just a few key notes on why “Daddy Lessons” wasn’t an outlandish choice for a CMA performance. What’s more outlandish is the CMAs not standing behind their decision or encouraging their audience to have an open mind.
Either way, the soundcloud upload of the collaborative version from Beyonce and the Dixie Chicks is a silent but very loud reminder that hateful and racist comments can’t (and shouldn’t) derail artists from expressing themselves, how they see fit. You can take a listen to the new version of “Daddy Lessons” below and absorb another groundbreaking moment from Beyonce.
Update: The CMAs have released an official statement citing that they haven’t removed any footage of the performance from their social channels.