Traditional Country music artists
The battle for the heart of country music will rage on, and the arguments surrounding what country music is, what direction it should take, and what its influences should be will be an eternal one. But it’s hard not to look back on Blake Shelton’s recent comments about country music’s traditional fans, saying in part that “Nobody wants to listen to their grandpa’s music, ” and surmise that with Blake Shelton’s standing as the reigning Country Music Association “Entertainer of the Year, ” that this won’t go down as a very important notch in the country music historical timeline. The arrogance and short-sightedness really goes without saying, and can be seen by virtually any cool-minded observer aside from Blake Shelton’s most dedicated apologists and their contrived explanations.
As a majority, Americans and both angry and bewildered by what has happened to country music, non country music fans included, if not being the majority home of that sentiment. But the devout traditional country fans are the ones with the biggest beef, as they’ve watched their culture be stolen from them, and then re-sold as parody.
In 2012 Saving Country Music struggled to garner interest and passion from the country music community when some of the most important and influential story lines to ever touch the genre unfolded. The sale of the Grand Ole Opry to Marriott International and the biggest re-write of Billboard’s chart rules in 70 years went down in 2012, and the prevailing sentiment amongst the traditional and classic country fandom was wholesale apathy. What I heard from folks was, “Hey, we have our music, who cares what happens to country as a whole?” But Blake Shelton did something that none of these stories could. He awoke the quiet, dormant rage of the disenfranchised true country music fan by outright insulting them.
Blake Shelton’s fatal flaw was thinking he has any ownership in country music. Blake Shelton doesn’t have the right to call the shots on the direction of country music any more than I do, or any artist, entity, or fan does. Nobody owns or operates country music. Country music is of the people, for the people, and by the people.