Beyoncé + Dixie Chicks • Why diverse music collaborations aren’t as bad as you think.

I think this year’s 50th CMA Awards were outstanding. The performances were high energy, displayed talent from the regular “oldies” and chart-toppers, and new faces brought in their own grooves. The best part, for me? The collaborations!

Now, I’m sure you’ve all seen the articles and headliners regarding one particular performance mash-up. The Dixie Chicks and Beyoncé…who, in my opinion, rocked it.

Many are speaking out about this. The fact that the country scene does not need any pop star or ANYone outside of the country genre to drop in and take the mic. How the CMAs should not feel that they need to branch outside of the “norm” and appeal to a much younger and wider audience.

Ok, so, if these are the (few) “reasons” the country music scene does not “need” these kind of performances, does this mentality also apply to the country artists who feature “outside” artists on their individual albums and singles? For cross-genre songwriting? If no one else were able to share the country music scene, or any genre, where would we see growth in various styles of music? Or new appreciation for a different edge on a song?

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Getty Images / Image Group LA

I would just like to add in that I agree with part of the argument. The country music scene surely does not “NEED” a pop artist performing on their stage. Country music has its devoted fans, who make up a ginormous fan base, and I sure am one of them. (I also love SO many other genres, too.) Country music has been around for yearsss, and I think it’s safe to say that country artists have shared some of the best stories and lessons over a substantial amount of time, truly strengthening the roots that it withholds, which is why I don’t see any harm in bringing in fun performances like this. It’s not going to obliterate country music.

It’s as simple – it’s a performance. It’s fun, sometimes serious. It’s artistry. It’s the uniting of various global audiences and music styles. And it is performances such as the Dixie Chicks and Beyoncé  that allow us to experience new and innovative talent, interesting and thought-provoking lyrics, the sharing of an art on one stage, with one beat, and for the same purpose – entertainment that reaches everyone in a form of emotion that can sometimes be hard to explain.

Yes, specifically it is a country award show. Music is an ever-changing art, and I would love for people to be more open minded of any enhancement or new style that may be “outside the norm”. It helps it grow!

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Getty Images / Image Group LA

Daddy Lessons and Long Time Gone were the structure of the Dixie Chicks and Beyoncé’s performance. I thought it was a fun set. I’ve been a long time fan of the Dixie Chicks and just as big a fan of Queen Bey’s. And I will always be a fan of pairing together diverse groups and individuals who can bring a new perspective to our favourite tunes. We are all fans of music for many, many reasons, and it can provide a pretty deep escape. The more versatile musical blends we listen to will enable us to essentially connect with each other just a little more. Music is its own language, art and emotion. I hope more people learn to embrace the mixing and pairing of artists and sound, rather than add negativity that could actually be something positive with an adjustment of perspective. The world needs more kindness, and I think music and performance can spread that message loud and clear. What do you think?

Scroll a little further to check out a few of my favourites from the evening!

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Michael Loccisano
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Getty Images / Image Group LA
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Getty Images / Image Group LA
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Getty Images / Image Group LA
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Getty Images / Terry Wyatt

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Encore No. 2

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ArtistSerena Ryder
Genre: pop/rock
Song: Got Your Number
Album: (single)
Location: Toronto, ON

Why is this song on repeat?
The beat!!! Sure to get you in a boppin’ mood, and perfect for hitting the road and travelling with friends. It’s got sassy lyrics, and a boss attitude that shines through. When you turn this one on, you’ll end up turning it up. Oh, and probably dancing.

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Encore No. 1

Left photo: Tom Cochrane, Right photo: Graham Kennedy

ArtistFortunate Ones
Genre: Folk/roots/acoustic/pop
Song: Lay Me Down
Album: The Bliss
Location: St. John’s, NL

Why is this song on repeat?
Addictive beat, edgy acoustics, and the “back and forth” of vocals from verse to verse, truly make this song a hit. From the beginning, the gradual intensification, to end, it tells like a proper story, and keeps you tuned in. I would love to be holding a tambourine whenever I listen to this one.

Congratulations to Andrew James O’Brien and Catherine Allan of Fortunate Ones on winning an East Coast Music Award – Rising Star Recording of the Year (The Bliss)!

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