As nature intended, Beyoncé showed up to the Country Music Association Awards and stole the show. Even though the Lemonade singer gave a rousing rendition of "Daddy Lessons" with the Dixie Chicks, some CMA fans were still upset. The short version? Racism, plus the perceived whiteness of country music's history and demographic. Bey's performance wasn't the first time a traditionally pop or R&B artist has crossed over into the genre; it's just the first time the crossover artist was a Black woman. (For reference, Justin Timberlake performed with Chris Stapleton at the 2015 CMAs, and Ariana Grande did a duet with Little Big Town at the awards show in 2014. Should we #TBT to Nelly's song with Tim McGraw?) Racism directed specifically at Black women is called misogynoir, and Black women face it every day. Despite the CMAs' clear precedents, people were still pissed:
Here's a question: Where is this imaginary threshold that determines who or what qualifies as country music? Beyoncé was born and raised in Texas, "Daddy Lessons" speaks to a Southern bluegrass heritage, and she's just as concerned about Jolene as any Dolly Parton-loving musician. These fans aren't mad that she's not a country star; they're upset that country music can't keep its exclusivity from Black fans.