Beyonce, Chicks performance proves controversial
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Beyonce, Chicks performance proves controversial

Friday, November 4, 2016 – Pop and R&B superstar Beyonce's performance at the Country Music Association awards on Wednesday with the Dixie Chicks has proven to be quite controversial.

Not only is the online chatter heated with some saying her performance had little to do with country and others citing racism and ignorance, but the CMA itself got involved because of concerns that Beyonce mentions were pulled from the organization's web site due to complaints.

As for the performance, Beyonce, decked out in a partial see-through gown with lots of jewels, played her song "Daddy Lessons" from her "Lemonade" disc with a country, soulful beat.

Beyonce also received help from Dixie Chicks, a trio who used to rule the country charts. That was until lead singer Natalie Maines uttered her famous words in London on the eve of the Iraq war about being ashamed President George W. Bush was from Texas. The Chicks have a connection with the song. They played "Daddy Lessons" during their tour last summer.

All went well with the CMA performance itself with some outlets showering praise on the effort. The Chicks interspersed a snippet of "Long Time Gone" during the song as well.

When it came to online comments, the reaction was mixed. Some were incensed that the CMAs invited Beyonce, who has become more outspoken in recent years about minority issues.

"Next time lets not invite artist who support racist organizations and are anti-police." posted Anitra Lineberry on Facebook.

"Instead of wasting our time with this, they should have given Dolly Parton more time to receive a lifetime achievement award, said Christine Haskell referring to Parton's shortened speech later in the evening when honored by the CMAs.

A post by the Dixie Chicks on their Facebook page about the performance elicited more than 2,200 comments by mid-afternoon Friday.

Brenda Lewin wrote, "Can't believe y'all would slap Country in face with this mess. A woman who is against law enforcement an those Chicks against America. I have lost all respect for CMA. They wouldn't have done this back in day . Are y'all that Greedy to get ratings? Dumb idea."

Of course, not everyone was in accord.

"I don't know why so many people are upset that Beyonce and the Chicks performed. The 50th was the most country artists I have ever seen in one spot and only 1 Non-Country artist - and she is from Texas. Y'all quit your whining... and look up the history of Country music, you might be shocked where the roots are," wrote Tonna Fuston.

Country has had a connection with the blues dating to its start. One of the first country stars was Deford Bailey in the 1920s.

The idea of inviting a non-country artist to perform at the CMAs is nothing new. Last year, Justin Timberlake joined Chris Stapleton for a much-lauded performance.

Amanda Martinez wrote, "Disappointed in country fans. Every year the CMAs invite big pop stars to perform, but they haven't generated the outrage that Beyoncé has for not being country. Last year Justin Timberlake was on the show and met with nothing but praise. Others like Ariana Grande and Megan Trainor were also on the show, again without controversy. Beyoncé's latest album featured the song she played last night, "Daddy Lessons," and its country/southern influences are undeniable. The Dixie Chicks had started to cover it as soon as they heard it. I applaud the CMAs for using this song to welcome the Dixie Chicks back to country fans. It's about time the Dixie Chicks be redeemed for their absolutely unnecessary and shameful blacklisting.

Images of Beyonce and the Dixie Chicks were removed from the CMA web site on Thursday. Why that occurred was open to debate. Some said the CMA caved to fans and pulled the images, including a promotional teasing of Queen Bey's performance.

But that's not what CMA Chief Executive Sarah Trahern indicated. She told The New York Times that the clip was removed prior to the performance at the singer's request. "Beyoncé's team hadn't approved that, so we pulled it down," Trahern said. "Fans can get kind of passionate and read other things into it."

Commenting on the lack of photos or video of the performance on social media shows of the show, Trahern said Bey only approved one official live video on ABC.com.

"We stand by it," Trahern said of Beyoncé's performance. "If a program moves people so much one way or another, I think we've had a successful show."

"We believe in free speech and people can post what they're going to post," she said. "It's about the music, not about politics."


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