Earlier today we got the surprising news that Beyonce would be joining country music’s royal elite at the annual CMA awards in Nashville. Honestly, the decision makes a lot of sense.
Of course, there’s the obvious Lemonade track “Daddy Lessons” that would fit right into any country programming, but Beyonce is big enough that she could perform anything and people would be happy. Still, she went with that song and did a Texas-devoted performance with the Dixie Chicks as her backing band — Natalie Maines even took a verse, and at one point, they interpolated “Long Time Gone.” Watch that above.
Aside from the wonder that is a Beyonce and Dixie Chicks supergroup — their cover of her song earlier this year was amazing enough on its own — but this performance represents something more. Considering the endless struggle country music faces as it is contextualized and re-contextualized within the American south’s history of slavery, racism, and segregation, inviting the most powerful and popular female black performer of our current era to appear on the show is a tremendous statement.
It signifies a solidarity with her “Formation” anthem that was protested by the #BlueLivesMatter folks with #BoycottBeyonce. The CMAs definitively signaling that they’re team Beyonce should make American country music fans around the world proud — not to mention her appearance pulled in a lot of viewers who don’t necessarily care about country music itself. Bringing more country fans into the fold is always a good thing, too.
Considering pretty much anyone who saw it agreed that Beyonce’s Formation tour was the most important tour of the year — and easily in the top 5 if not the best tour of this year — it’s no surprise that her performance was fantastic. The internet absolutely loved it. I bet this girl is not feeling so great tonight, though.
If you missed the performance, you can still check it out on the ABC app and On Demand here.