The media was hoping for, nay, expecting Nashville’s country music stars to come out in force at the Country Music Association Awards and preach gun control, thereby alienating millions of their fans. Yet, they did not, to the dismay of Washington Post critic Chris Richards who called it “a monolithic silence.”
Richards also claimed “country music is becoming the soundtrack of a nonexistent, apolitical no-place.”
“So all of our planet’s problems will go away if we stop paying attention to them?” Richard laments in his piece. “I guess that’s one way to escape reality, but it was still disheartening to see [Brad] Paisley, the CMA telecast’s co-host for the 10th consecutive year, acquiescing to Nashville’s disengagement reflex and encouraging listeners to ‘turn it off.’ Especially at this year’s CMAs, where not one artist found the courage to say a single word about gun control after 58 fans were shot dead at a country music festival in Las Vegas last month.”
Richards would have much preferred the Dixie Chicks to come on stage and talk about how they are still embarrassed to be Americans. And it’s not like the night was devoid of politics. Both Paisley and his co-host Carrie Underwood parodied her hit “Before He Cheats” to mock the president’s penchant for social media with “Before He Tweets.”
Keith Urban also came out with perhaps the first feminist anthem sung by a male country artist when he sang “Female,” which is a response to all of the sexual abuse revelations flying around.
So, no, Richards, the CMAs weren’t “apolitical” they just weren’t as progressive as you wanted. Why don’t you take a quarter from Miley Cyrus’s daddy and call someone who cares.