Racist accusations popped up on social media throughout the awards show, and many people expressed that a pop musician had no place at a celebration of country music achievements. Tritt, who claims that his resentment about Beyoncé’s performance is not racism, went on a full Twitter rant Thursday night and Friday morning.
Tritt argues that the Soul Train Awards and BET Awards don’t invite country singers to their show, so why should the CMAs host Beyoncé? “I’m insulted that the CMA thinks we have to have a pop artist on our award show to appeal to big crowds,” he tweeted.
Things got heated as fans started asking Tritt if what he was saying was “racist” or “not politically correct.”
At the CMA Awards ceremony, Beyoncé sang her song Daddy Lessons from her latest album Lemonade. The pop star remixed the song, allowing the ladies of country band Dixie Chicks to sing a few verses before going into part of their song, Long Time Gone.
The Dixie Chicks have actually been covering Daddy Lessons during their recent tour. You can watch/listen to it in full here:
Many people online compared Beyoncé’s performance to her country-music duet with Sugarland at the 2007 American Music Awards. Justin Timberlake actually beat Beyoncé at her own game: he performed with country star Chris Stapleton at the CMAs last year.
Though Beyoncé and the Dixie Chicks’ performance was the act of the night, it wasn’t the only notable moment of the 2016 CMAs.
Country singer Randy Travis, who suffered a life-threatening stroke in 2013, was joined by fellow country musicians Carrie Underwood, Brad Paisley, Reba McEntire and a number of other stars to sing his signature hit Forever and Ever Amen. Travis took the mic and sang the song’s final line, which was met with thunderous applause.