The Country Music Awards (CMAs) are held in Nashville each year with very little concern (if any, at all) from non-country audiences. However, this year's show - the 50th anniversary - garnered a great deal of attention because of a surprise performance from the one and only Beyoncé.
Alongside the Dixie Chicks, the Queen Bey performed a fiery remix to the track "Daddy Lessons" featured on her album Lemonade. But still, many were wondering: what exactly was Beyoncé doing performing at the CMAs of all award shows?
Sure, she was performing her most folk-like, bluesy, country song to date but does that necessarily require her to perform at the CMAs? That would be akin to Taylor Swift performing her "Bad Blood" remix with Kendrick Lamar at the BET or Soul Train Awards. Beyoncé's discography - especially as of recently - does not attract the mainly white, conservative, Middle America demographic to which country caters. In fact, some viewers pledged not to tune in if the singer performed.
Judging from the singer's strong political stance this era - from proclaiming her love for her blackness on the Super Bowl stage to reaffirming her support for black women in the musical film that accompanied Lemonade - it's not too far fetched to assume that she was using her platform to make a statement.
It was no coincidence that she was accompanied by the Dixie Chicks who were once vocal about then-President George Bush and the impending invasion of Iraq in 2003. During a concert in London, the band's lead singer stated "We don't want this war, this violence, and we're ashamed that the President of the United States is from Texas." These words, of course, did not go without backlash; the band was greatly criticized by conservative media and greatly angered their fans who began protesting them, causing the careers of the once multi-platinum selling band to come to a halt. Does this story sound familiar?
Following the "Boycott Beyoncé" movement after her Super Bowl performance (which was fueled by conservative Americans who would ignorantly claim that the performance was anti-police), the entertainer booked the stage at the very award show that many of those objectors would normally view. Beyoncé may not have been suffered commercially like the Dixie Chicks but the controversy was definitely there.
Performing together, these two entities of public dissent displayed a huge middle finger to their critics. Not only was a Black woman who has made a stance against systemic injustices and police brutality gracing the stage at an award show watched by many of those who oppose her views, she was also sharing that stage with a country group shunned - who publicly denounced the President during an immensely patriotic time. Aside from a presentation of their musical talents, the performance was a celebration of politically vocal women in the face of adversity. Interestingly enough, this was the Dixie Chicks' first appearance at the CMAs in over a decade.
So, if you were wondering what Beyoncé was doing at the CMAs, it was much bigger than a mere performance.