Alan Jackson reportedly walked out of the CMA Awards while Beyoncé performed with the Dixie Chicks
The CMA Awards are nearing their 57th year and the memorable moments from the show’s 56-year history are endless. In 2016, prior to the 50th annual CMA Awards, country superstar Alan Jackson was asked what he wanted to see from the show. Jackson was hopeful that they would have some “real country music” adding:
“But I understand the dang television station trying to get the ratings with whatever they think is gonna prop it up, with some big event with some other type of artist on there. Yeah, hopefully it’ll be a good country music show for a change.”
However, when Beyoncé took the stage to perform with the Dixie Chicks, that hope went out the window. A Nashville music manager in attendance reported that Alan Jackson “stood up from the front row and walked out in the middle of the performance.”
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Other country artists shared a similar sentiment for the questionable performance choice.
For a show positioned as “country’s biggest night” and designed to celebrate the best and brightest in the genre, the decision to put the focus on one of the nation’s biggest popstars left many confused and disappointed. Travis Tritt expressed his dissatisfaction on Twitter, stating that “Country doesn’t need pop acts for ratings.”
I have nothing against Beyoncé. It’s the CMA producers that I’m disappointed in. Country doesn’t need pop acts for ratings.
— Travis Tritt (@Travistritt) November 4, 2016
Alan Jackson had walked out of the CMA Awards before.
This would not have been the first time that Alan Jackson made a statement at the country music awards show. At the CMA’s 1999, the legendary George Jones was only allotted one minute to play an abridged version of his song “Choices,” which was nominated for Single Of The Year. Jones refused the insulting offer and did not attend the show.
Jackson was slotted to perform “Pop A Top” that night and when he was about halfway through the song, he quickly transitioned to playing “Choices” in an epic moment that received a standing ovation from the audience. After his performance, Jackson walked off of the stage and out of the building.
When George Jones was asked about the gesture later, he shared:
“What he did meant more to me than I could ever say. I was watching the show, and when he began singing ‘Choices,’ it moved my wife Nancy and me both to tears. He made a huge statement on my behalf, and on behalf of traditional country music, and didn’t worry about what the consequences might be.”
See Alan Jackson’s infamous switch-up in the video below!