Announced shortly before Wednesday night’s ceremony, Beyoncé took the stage with the Dixie Chicks—who’ve basically been blacklisted from country music for more than a decade and haven’t performed at the CMAs in years—to duet on “Daddy Lessons.” It easily ended up being the award show’s breakout performance—one that fans can now download for free.
But like pretty much anything Beyoncé does these days, her performance was swiftly met with backlash from racist country fans due to her previous messages about racism, Black Lives Matter, and police brutality. Some may have believed that Beyoncé didn’t have a place there, even though the genre of country music has black roots.
Although Beyoncé was initially prominently featured on CMA World’s website Thursday, but posts featuring the performance (and had comments sections) were soon removed from CMA’s social media channels. According to TMZ, the removal appeared to be in response to racist criticism of Beyoncé, the CMA’s support of the Dixie Chicks (whom the country music world still hasn’t really forgiven for their controversial 2003 comments about President George W. Bush), and making it appear that the CMAs support the Black Lives Matter movement.
The CMAs received backlash from fans and prominent activists for removing references to Beyoncé on its website.
— deray (@deray) November 3, 2016
— Big D (@BigDradio) November 3, 2016
The Dixie Chicks also showed support for Beyoncé, urging fans to listen to “Daddy Lessons” loud enough to “drown out the hate.”
If we all turn this up really loud, together we can drown out the hate. https://t.co/PWJcDeNmuR
— Dixie Chicks (@dixiechicks) November 3, 2016
Later Thursday, the CMAs reposted an Instagram photo from Beyoncé with directions to visit her website to download “Daddy Lessons.”
In a statement, the CMAs explained that it had removed a clip from its Facebook page because the promotion was unapproved when it was posted.
“CMA has not erased any mentions of Beyoncé’s performance on the CMA Awards,” a CMAs representative told the Fader in a statement. “In advance of the broadcast, CMA removed a five-second promotional clip from ABC.com and CMA’s Facebook page. The promo was unapproved and CMA removed it prior to the broadcast. Beyoncé’s performance with Dixie Chicks was a highlight of the evening and we are continuing to share the amazing full-length performance clip via our official social channels.”
H/T The Fader