by Charlotte Hazard
While it may seem that the woke effect has swept through the country music industry with left-wing talking points and the embracing of drag performers, there are country artists that are fighting back.
During the 2023 CMT Music Awards, held in Austin, Texas, country music star Kelsea Ballerini performed her song “If You Go Down (I’m Goin’ Down Too)” with drag queens from “RuPaul’s Drag Race” surrounding her.
Ballerini appeared to be taking a shot at the customary home of the awards show, Tennessee, which recently passed a bill to limit “sexualized entertainment” visible to minors. According to a legislative summary of SB 3 – HB 9, the bill “creates a Class A misdemeanor offense for a person to engage in an adult cabaret performance on public property or in a location where the adult cabaret performance could be viewed by a person who is not an adult.”
This bill has been referred to as an “anti-drag” bill by the media.
Country music star Reba McEntire said she was disappointed in the bill, which was recently signed by Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee.
“I wish they would spend that much time and energy and money on feeding the homeless children,” McEntire said in an interview with the Los Angeles Times.
“We’ve got a real problem in this country,” she said, “and to be worrying about men wanting to dress up as women? God bless ’em to wear those high heels — I feel for ’em. But let’s center our attention on something that really needs attention.”
Country music singer John Rich took a swipe at the state of the CMT awards on his social media.
“No need to comment on the country music industry at this point, I’m just glad they’re finally showing all you fans what they are REALLY all about,” he wrote on Twitter.
No need to comment on the country music industry at this point, I’m just glad they’re finally showing all you fans what they are REALLY all about.
— John Rich?? (@johnrich) April 4, 2023
Rich told the “Just the News, No Noise” TV show that the July 2022 release of his hit “Progress” cost him relationships in the country music industry.
“I don’t have the backing of the country music industry really much anymore,” he said. “And that’s okay. I would rather have my freedom of speech than their approval any day of the week.”
Rich is an open conservative and a supporter of former President Donald Trump.
Another country star who spoke out against woke culture was Travis Tritt, who announced he would no longer work with Anheuser-Busch, the company that brews Budweiser and Bud Light after it was revealed they had a paid partnership with TikTok transgender activist Dylan Mulvaney.
“I will be deleting all Anheuser-Busch products from my tour hospitality rider,” Tritt wrote on Twitter. “I know many other artists who are doing the same.”
I will be deleting all Anheuser-Busch products from my tour hospitality rider. I know many other artists who are doing the same.
— Travis Tritt (@Travistritt) April 5, 2023
Mulvaney gained celebrity as an influencer by making viral TikTok videos and having partnerships with major corporations, including Nike, Kate Spade New York and Bud Light.
Conservatives and others have criticized such partnerships, amid larger concerns about women being marginalized and transgenderism being pushed upon children in public school curriculums without parental consent.
While not an artist herself, country artist Jason Aldean’s wife Brittany Aldean has made remarks combating woke ideology on social media, despite getting backlash from country music singers Maren Morris and Cassadee Pope
“I’d really like to thank my parents for not changing my gender when I went through my tomboy phase,” Aldean posted on Instagram in August. “I love this girly life.”
Pope took to Twitter to scold Aldean for non-inclusive messaging.
“You’d think celebs with beauty brands would see the positives in including LGBTQ+ people in their messaging,” she tweeted. “But instead here we are, hearing someone compare their ‘tomboy phase’ to someone wanting to transition. Real nice.”
“Sucks when Karens try to hide their homophobia/transphobia behind their ‘protectiveness of the children,’” Marren Morris wrote in response.
Aldean stood by her statement, and her husband posted in support of her post, quipping: “Lmao!! I’m glad they didn’t too, cause you and I wouldn’t have worked out.”
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