Remember The Time Alan Jackson Walked Out Of The CMAs While Beyoncé Performed?
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Remember The Time Alan Jackson Walked Out Of The CMAs While Beyoncé Performed?

Alan Jackson reportedly walked out of the CMA Awards during Beyoncé’s surprise performance. 

As Beyoncé gears up to release her first-ever country album, many are looking back on the performance that inspired her venture into the genre. In 2016, the pop superstar took the stage at the CMA Awards alongside The Chicks (formerly the Dixie Chicks) for a rendition of her song “Daddy Lessons.”

Prior to the awards show, country superstar Alan Jackson was asked what he wanted to see from the show. Jackson was hopeful that they would showcase some “real country music” adding:

But I understand the dang television station trying to get the ratings with whatever they think is gonna prop it up, with some big event with some other type of artist on there. Yeah, hopefully it’ll be a good country music show for a change.

However, when Beyoncé surprised the CMA Awards audience and took the stage, that hope went out the window. A Nashville music manager in attendance reported that Alan Jackson “stood up from the front row and walked out in the middle of the performance.”

Additional country artists shared a similar sentiment for the questionable performance choice.  

For a show positioned as “country’s biggest night” and designed to celebrate the best and brightest in the genre, the decision to put the focus on one of the nation’s biggest popstars left many confused and disappointed. Travis Tritt expressed his dissatisfaction on Twitter, stating that “Country doesn’t need pop acts for ratings.”

Alan Jackson had walked out of the CMA Awards before.     

This would not have been the first time that Alan Jackson made a statement at the annual awards show. At the CMA’s 1999, the legendary George Jones was only allotted one minute to play an abridged version of his song “Choices,” which was nominated for Single Of The Year. Jones refused the insulting offer and did not attend the show.

Jackson was slotted to perform “Pop A Top” that night and when he was about halfway through the song, he quickly transitioned to playing “Choices” in an epic moment that received a standing ovation from the audience. After his performance, Jackson walked off of the stage and out of the building.

When George Jones was asked about the gesture later, he shared:

What he did meant more to me than I could ever say. I was watching the show, and when he began singing ‘Choices,’ it moved my wife Nancy and me both to tears. He made a huge statement on my behalf, and on behalf of traditional country music, and didn’t worry about what the consequences might be.

See Alan Jackson’s infamous switch-up in the video below!


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