Another CMA Awards in the books.
As far as awards shows go, last night’s show actually wasn’t terrible. There were surprisingly quite a few highlights, including the best performance of the night from Chris Stapleton and Patty Loveless paying tribute to their home state of Kentucky with an absolutely incredible performance of “You’ll Never Leave Harlan Alive.”
Sure, there were some of the terrible performances that we’ve all come to expect (like the duet from Thomas Rhett and Katy Perry).
Overall though, it wasn’t as bad as it could have been, which is quite honestly a step in the right direction.
But one of the biggest stars in country music right now was missing from the ceremony, and fans took notice.
Zach Bryan has been an absolute force in country music the past couple years. He’s not only selling out festivals and shows everywhere he goes, but his major-label debut album American Heartbreak debuted at #5 on the Billboard Albums all-genre chart, the best debut for any country album this year. And the album also smashed streaming records with the most streams by any country album in a single day on both Spotify and Apple Music.
Apparently that wasn’t enough to invite him to the CMA Awards though.
His fans (including me) let the CMAs hear it, wondering why “Country Music’s Biggest Night” wouldn’t invite one of country music’s biggest stars.
But while his fans may have been bothered, Zach himself didn’t seem to care much about the snub. (You can’t even call it an oversight at this point, because there’s no way organizers aren’t aware of Zach Bryan).
Zach took to Twitter to express his thoughts on being left out of the CMA Awards, saying that he doesn’t and “never will want to be considered at the CMA’s.”
He also made clear that while he respects the artists nominated for the awards, shows like that just aren’t for him:
“To be clear, I’m not trying to insult the validity of a CMA, I respect any artist who receives one and the existence of them; I’m just saying on a personal level it is not one of my priorities to have awards on a shelf in my home. there’s room for more important things there.”
And of course he’s right. Zach Bryan needs a CMA like the world needs a Florida Georgia Line reunion tour. He just doesn’t when he’s already killing it like he is.
But as a country music fan, it sure would be nice to see the Country Music Association awards recognize and feature one of the biggest names in…country music. Even if he’s not part of their establishment.
I mean, does anyone in that establishment have fans willing to sit out in the snow at Red Rocks and sing their songs back to them like this? I doubt it.