Despite the countless contributions African-Americans have made to the genre we seldom see them honored for your work


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Rasha Ali | November 3, 2016
Beyoncé offered a breathtaking performance v the Dixie chicks on the CMAs phase in Nashville Wednesday night, but an ext importantly it to be iconic because that the mere truth that it, if even for a minute, she burned light ~ above a significant deficit in country music.

You are watching: Beyonce on the country music awards

Specifically, a deficit of black color artists. It’s no that black nation artists don’t exist, they just don’t command lot attention — perpetuating the legend that black color people and also country music don’t mix.

Even though Beyonce’s recent album, “Lemonade,” attributes “Daddy Lessons,” a very country-sounding track, the artist confronted a an excellent deal of virtual backlash as soon as the CMAs announced she’d it is in performing (you can watch the power above.

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“She’s no a nation artist!” “She doesn’t belonging here!” “The CMAs room ruined!” were just a couple of of the things civilization cried. Granted, Beyoncé is generally not labeled together a country artist so few of the backlash might have to be valid if the criticism was exclusively focused ~ above that.

But some people were genuinely adamant about boycotting the CMAs and compared Queen Bey’s performance to a white artist performing at the gambling Awards (which has actually consistently nominated white artists).

We can’t disregard the racialism undertones of several of those comments — regardless of even if it is they were intentional.

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Believe the or not, nation music was greatly influenced by black color people.

“In the antebellum South, banjos, fiddles and also harmonicas to be the dominant instruments play in black color culture. Unfortunately, history has distorted this facts to make people think jazz, blues and spirituals were the staples that black culture at the time when, in fact, it was country,” said author Pamela Foster in a giant 1998 Chicago Tribune around this topic.

By the way, the banjo — a clip in nation music — originated in Africa.

Despite the countless contributions the black population has made to the genre, we seldom see castle honored for their work.

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“Black artists feel favor they have been left the end of a whole industry for no reason various other than color,” Cleve Francis, a black country singer, claimed in that same Chicago Tribune story. “Country music has actually mirrored the racial division in this country. Various other forms, such as pop and opera, have combined but…blacks have actually never been welcome in Nashville.”

And if they’re no welcome in Nashville, they have rarely been welcomed at the CMAs. Charley Pride to be the first, and also only, black color artist to win Entertainer of the Year at the CMA Awards… and also that remained in 1971.

So while the Beyoncé didn’t single-handedly revolutionize nation music, the “controversy” neighboring her power demonstrated how much progress we still have to make.

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And, for now, it feels favor Beyoncé’s performance at the CMAs might be a action in the ideal direction.