After Beyonce’s surprise appearance at the 2016 CMA Awards country star Travis Tritt was very outspoken about her performance of “Daddy Lessons” alongside the Dixie Chicks. Now Tritt wants to clarify his comments, which he says were taken out of context.
The singer says it’s not about Beyonce, but about non-country performances at country awards shows in general. “This is a complaint that I’ve heard for a long time, actually for decades,” the singer told Nash Country Daily. “Back in the ’90s, it was Elton John or Sting or whoever. Every year the CMA producers feel a need to bring in acts from other genres, and it’s always done to boost ratings.”
Tritt says he understands the concept behind it, but finds it insulting. He’s been a part of this genre from the very beginning in his career: “It’s a format that I have seen grow a tremendous amount in the 27 years that I’ve been doing this.”
He recalls his peers Garth Brooks, Alan Jackson and Clint Black’s popularity in the ’90s was enough to attract viewership. “I think during that period of time, we’ve certainly become strong enough to stand on our own two feet without the help from outside sources,” he said. “I’ve been complaining about this for years, and it’s funny to me that it took complaining about this year’s performance before anybody paid any attention to it.”
One thing Tritt wants to make clear is that race has nothing to do it with it. After his Twitter comments, many felt his comments were both racist and sexist. “To make everything about race – to me – it makes me sad to be honest. All I said was that her performance – in my humble opinion – her performance, as well as any of the other performances that have been on from the pop world, including Ariana Grande, Meghan Trainor, Justin Timberlake or whoever, do not belong.”