Travis Tritt Clarifies His Beyonce Twitter Rant
Travis Tritt was outspoken about pop-R&B singer Beyonce's involvement in the 2016 CMA Awards, which was the 50th annual ceremony and a banner event. But the country singer wants to clarify his comments, which he feels were taken out of context, because he says it's not so much about Beyonce, but out-of-genre performances at country awards shows in general.
"This is a complaint that I’ve heard for a long time, actually for decades," he shares with Nash Country Daily. "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."
Beyonce took the CMA Awards stage with the Dixie Chicks, performing a mix of her country-tinged "Daddy Lessons" and their song "Long Time Gone." Tritt recalls how country artists like Garth Brooks, Alan Jackson, Clint Black and even himself drew millions of fans to their shows in the '90s, and often some of those fans had never listened to country before.
"I think during that period of time we’ve certainly become strong enough to stand on our own two feet without the help from outside sources," he adds. "I’ve been complaining about this for years, and it’s funny to me that it took complaining about this year’s performance, before anybody paid any attention to it."
While some alleged that Tritt's comments on Twitter were about Beyonce's race, rather than her genre of origin, he stresses that race has nothing to do with it and that he never "trashed" her as a singer. He simply feels pop music does not belong on a country music awards show.
"Race has nothing to do with it," Tritt stresses. "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. All I said was that her performance — in my humble opinion— her performance as well as any of the other performances that have been on from the pop world, including Ariana Grande, Meghan Trainor, Justin Timberlake or whoever, do not belong."
"For every pop performance or R&B performance or any other type of genre performance that you have on the CMA Awards, that takes time away from somebody who is a country music artist, doing country music songs, releasing country music singles to radio, selling country music under that moniker to people all across the country and across the world," Tritt furthers. "There are other artists that could have been just as much of a draw and that really should have been involved in that slot to celebrate the music that they have helped to create."
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