Top 5 Most Controversial Moments In Country Music HistoryPosted by Mike Schumacher
Country music is a genre that has been around for a long time. It is also a genre that has constantly been changing and evolving with the times. As music trends change, so does country music.
Just like any other art form, some pieces are considered better than others. The best country music songs and artists of today will probably not be remembered in ten years, but that is okay! It is part of the ever-changing nature of the genre.
Some moments in country music history are more controversial than others. Some artists have caused major stirs with their songs or performances, while others have affected the culture outside of the musical confines. This article will talk about some of the most controversial moments in country music history.
The Dixie Chicks being blackballed
One of the most shocking and controversial moments in country music happened in 2003 when the Dixie Chicks said some not-so-flattering things about President George W. Bush.
Lead singer Natalie Maines commented on how she was “ashamed” that Bush was from the same state as her, and that he was “going to [her] home state and talking about how great [he is],” adding that it was “disgraceful.”
The comments came at a time when anti-war protests were sweeping across the U.S., and just a few months after American troops invaded Iraq. Many people criticized Maines for making such bold statements about a president while she was onstage, but she didn’t back down.
Not only did the Dixie Chicks face extreme backlash following their comments, but their album sales dropped significantly. They were reportedly blackballed by country radio stations who refused to air their songs as a result of the controversy.
The death of great country singers
Another controversial moment in country music history is the death of some of the greatest talent. Many country singers have tragically passed away, and this is due to substance abuse and mental health issues.
Country music is based on real life experiences, which is why many songs contain lyrics about depression, anxiety, and substance abuse. Many famous country singers have struggled with these things, which has led to some fatal consequences.
Some examples of musicians who have died as a result of suicide or drug overdose include Keith Whitley, Jimmie Rodgers, Hank Williams, Jr., Billy Mackenzie, Johnny Paycheck, Dale Hawkins and David Allen Coe.
Several other artists have suffered from serious medical conditions that led to their deaths but weren’t directly related to drugs or alcohol. Some examples include Troy Gentry, Randy Travis and Darryl Worley.
Changing of country music
One of the most controversial moments in country music was the changing of country music. As mentioned before, country music started out with a lot of soul and R&B influences, but as time went on, that influence disappeared.
Around the early 2000s, pop music was booming and had a strong influence on other genres. Country music started incorporating more pop sounds into their songs to make them more appealing to a wider audience.
This is why you see more syncopated rhythms in country songs and an increase in guitar riff usage. Lyrics also become less poetic and more straightforward to connect with a broader audience.
Many fans saw this as a way for the industry to cash in on less sophisticated lyrics and tunes to gain a larger audience. However, this backlash against less sophisticated lyrics led to…
Pop stars taking over country music
A very controversial moment in country music was when pop stars started to take over the genre. Justin Bieber, Rhianna, and Kanye West all collaborated with country music artists to produce hit songs.
Bieber teamed up with Florida Georgia Line to release the song “Smells Like Teen Spirit” which became the number one country song of 2018. Many fans did not like this collaboration because he is not a country music artist.
However, since he brought so many views and attention to the genre, it could be argued that it was a good thing. Many other pop stars have collaborated with country music artists as well, so it is definitely a trend that has happened more than once.
But what really put the controversy into question was when Ariana Grande released her song “7 Rings” which debuted at number one on the charts but was labeled as a country song. Fans and fellow artists were outraged claiming that she is not a country artist and she does not sound like one either.
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