On Wednesday night, Beyonce made a surprise appearance on stage at the CMAs, joining the Dixie Chicks to perform "Daddy Problems." The Chicks have taken a liking to the country-influenced track from Queen Bey's Lemonade
, and have been covering it on tour. So when the ladies all came together to perform a collaborative version, we saw a cross-genre performance that was all love and good music. However, some country fans were not so admiring of the collaboration. Instead of love, support, and respect, online reactions included rage, hatred, and ignorance. Here are some of the disgusting things that showed up on CMA social pages:
There are so many problems with these comments that need to be addressed, but I am going to stay out of the political realm for the moment. The opinions presented by these disgruntled fans are ignorant, bigoted, and inaccurate - but the issue is much simpler than that if you take a step back. The issue here is respect and relevance. Everyone has their opinions and positions, on matters ranging form politics to favorite foods. And there is a time to argue and debate and be outraged over these opinions. That time is not when four talented musicians get up on a stage to perform a song as a testament to their mutual respect and to the power of music that transcends genre.
If there had been a political statement from Beyonce and the Dixie Chicks on that stage, there would at least be some merit to a backlash. I would still strongly disagree with the hatred spewed by these people, but it would at least make some sort of sense
. The fact of the matter is that Beyonce and the Dixie Chicks are musicians, and they got on stage that night to perform music. They did not get on stage to make any statements ranging beyond their love and respect for each other and the world of country music. So to respond with personal attacks that range from physical appearance to race and politics is not only wrong, but also just nonsensical. While country fans were spewing knee-jerk hate about issues irrelevant to the performance, country artists were pouring out admiration and respect on the red carpet:
Let's ignore that last guy saying country music is the most popular music out there for a second (because loooooool). Beyond the obvious polarization of positive and negative, what's the difference between these reactions and the social media spamming? The words from the artists were informed, relevant, and respectful while others were disrespectful and clearly not relevant to Beyonce's musical
appearance. I'll admit I have a bad habit of raising artists up above audiences, but in this case it seems warranted. We can learn a lesson from these artists - as they say, real recognize real, talent recognize talent. You don't hear musicians claiming a guest appearance is invading their genre or undermining their work. What you do hear is mutual respect and above all, appreciation for the music.
There is always room for musicians to make stands and statements and to speak out for what they believe in. It's one of the ways artists can have an effect on the world around them, beyond making people move their feet. When those times come, we'll see who moves in the direction of progress and acceptance and who remains stuck in hatred and ignorance. When those times come, we can have a passionate, heated argument. But for now, we can learn to keep politics and opinions separate from the music until an artist decides to take their stand.