The Country Music Association released a statement refuting reports that claimed the organization deleted all mentions of Beyoncé and the Dixie Chicks' CMA Awards performance of "Daddy Lessons" from their social accounts and website.
"CMA has not erased any mentions of Beyoncé's performance on the CMA Awards," organizers said 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." The CMA also included a link to Beyoncé and the outspoken country trio's performance on ABC.com.
Dixie Chicks singer Natalie Maines was seemingly aware of the controversy, tweeting Thursday night, "Hey everybody! The CMA's just called and asked us to co-host next year's show with Beyonce. Unfortunately I've got a thing that night so, no."
She followed it up with a line from Beyoncé's Lemonade standout "Formation": "'You know you dat Bitch when you cause all this conversation. Always stay gracious best revenge is your paper.' #Bey #Slay"
The Beyoncé and Dixie Chicks collaboration was a highlight of the 50th CMA Awards, and a performance that was kept tightly under wraps until Wednesday afternoon. While it may not have generated the out-of-nowhere buzz that last year's Justin Timberlake and Chris Stapleton mash-up did, it reinforced the CMA's commitment to reaching out to a pop, if not all-genre, audience. This makes the claims that the organization would, as it's been suggested, kowtow to online racist vitriol and delete mentions of the biggest "get" in its show's history hard to fathom.
Garth Brooks, the night's big winner as Entertainer of the Year, didn't mind the CMA providing Beyoncé and the Dixie Chicks with a performance slot. "Queen Bey and the Dixie Chicks, I thought that was just power — raw power," Brooks told reporters backstage. "I love that it was all feminine raw power."
Beyoncé has remained mum on the matter, but the Dixie Chicks as a group offered their own message of acceptance on Twitter. "If we all turn this up really loud, together we can drown out the hate," they wrote, linking to a stream of "Daddy Lessons."
See Beyonce, Dixie Chicks' surprise "Daddy Lessons" performance at the CMA Awards.