Country music artists are outraged after the CMA Awards did not include a tribute to late music legend John Prine this week.
Grammy-winning singer-songwriters Jason Isbell and Amanda Shires went so far as to return their lifetime membership cards to the Country Music Association, while other artists said the music on the show “sucks.”
Critics’ darling Sturgill Simpson reportedly said of the Prine diss in a post that was later deleted: “Don’t get it twisted … Wouldn’t be caught dead at this tacky ass glitter and botox … pony show even if my chair had a morphine drip. I just wanted to see if they would say his name but nope.”
Singer Margo Price slammed the show’s lack of diversity, and posted: “Anyone still participating is a socially unconscious pawn … Artists pander woke authenticity when it benefits them and then sit in silence as they collect their plastic trophies. Also the music sucks.”
A music biz insider told Page Six: “Managers and artists are going crazy … John Prine dies of COVID, no mention. [Outlaw-country pioneer] Billy Joe Shaver dies, no mention.”
Isbell and Shires, who are married, said they quit over additional snubs, too, including of Jerry Jeff Walker. The show honored four mainstream stars who died in 2020: Charlie Daniels, Kenny Rogers, Joe Diffie and Mac Davis.
The source added, “Country music is tone-deaf. It was another ratings disaster, and an out-of-touch show — a tribute to ‘Urban Cowboy’?” (Country act Old Dominion celebrated the 40th anniversary of the John Travolta film.)
Groundbreaking black artist Charley Pride was honored at age 86 with the lifetime achievement award, but our source said, “It was way overdue.”
Before he died, Prine received a lifetime achievement honor at the Grammys, along with a televised tribute. His family-owned record label said it was disappointed he was not included as part of the CMA Awards.
Reps for the association did not comment.
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