For the most part no Kanye West type personalities exist in country music and if they do, they definitely haven’t caused a stir during any major country music moments. That’s the great thing about country music– most singers are friends with each other, support each other or are really good at covering their distaste for others. Mostly, during its 49-year history the CMA Awards have been without controversy, but there have been a few.
5 Pretty Controversial CMA Awards Show Moments:
1. Charlie Rich’s Announcement of Entertainer of the Year
Not only would Charlie Rich get played off the stage with music today, he certainly wouldn’t be allowed to bring a lighter on stage for any reason. As the Entertainer of the Year for the previous year, Rich took to the stage to announce the 1975 CMA Entertainer of the Year. What followed was just weird and then, he set the winner’s card on fire– John Denver’s card. Later, Rich admitted to not being totally in his right mind.
2. Faith Hill Saying “WHAT”
Years later, it’s still hard to tell if Faith Hill really planned this. Sure, it’s pretty over-the-top, but even faking something like this doesn’t get you too far.
3. Alan Jackson Playing For George Jones
In 1994 George Jones’ “Choices” was nominated for Single of the Year, but he was asked to sing an abridged version of the tune. Jones opted to skip the ceremony entirely, so when Alan Jackson took the stage, he interrupted his own song to play the Jones’ song.
Of his decision to sing the song, Jackson simply says, “I just thought it was wrong for them to treat a legend like that.”
4. Mary Chapin Carpenter Uses Her Time on Unreleased Tune
When Mary Chapin Carpenter was asked to sing at the CMA Awards in 1990, she chose not to sing a song off her current album, but an unreleased tune called “Opening Act.” It became a controversy because of these lyrics:
I don’t have a hit in the Billboard charts
I don’t have a limousine that stretches three blocks
Ready to take me from door to door
Just like that jackass I’m opening for
He doesn’t know me; I’m his opening act
Carpenter never revealed who the jackass was, but she did go on to win back-to-back Female Vocalist of the Year honors.
5. Reba’s Red Dress
In 1993 Reba‘s red dress and plunging neckline was all anyone could talk about. Lots of people, including Reba’s dad, thought she had the dress on backwards. The dress is now in the Country Music Hall of Fame.