In the wake of Travis Tritt's online rant over Beyonce's CMA Awards appearance, the country star has been responding to comments made by his Twitter followers as he attempts to explain his vocal opposition to the crossover performance. He's been accused of being a racist because of his opposition to the R&B megastar's appearance at country music's biggest night, but that couldn't be further from the truth, according to Tritt.
In fact, the "Help Me Hold On" singer simply wants to protect the integrity of the musical genre he loves. Tritt rose to fame in the '90s with hits like "Can I Trust You With My Heart" and "Best of Intentions." With seven platinum albums and multiple awards to his name (including Grammys), nobody knows better than Travis Tritt just how much country music has evolved, and he blames that transition on one song: "Achy Breaky Heart."
@88ejr88 It started before that. Achy Breaky was the beginning of the end for real country music fans.— Travis Tritt (@Travistritt) November 4, 2016
"Achy Breaky" hitmaker Billy Ray Cyrus hasn't responded to Tritt's statement, but it brings up an old feud between the two.
In a 1992 interview, Travis Tritt called Billy Ray Cyrus' breakout tune "frivolous" and said the song "doesn't really make much of a statement."
Tritt didn't end things there. In another interview, the Grand Ole Opry member responded to a question regarding a college professor's theory that country music fans are more likely to commit suicide than fans of other music genres.
''I can understand that (theory),'' Tritt said, tongue firmly in cheek. ''Every time I hear 'Achy Breaky Heart,' I want to slash my wrists, too.''
Cyrus took advantage of his chance to publicly respond to Tritt's criticism when he won an AMA award for Favorite Country Single of the year in 1993.
"As far as I’m concerned, to those people who don’t like 'Achy Breaky Heart,' here's a quarter, call someone who cares!" he said as he accepted his award.
More than 20 years have passed and Travis Tritt still stands his ground. In 1993 he told the Orlando Sentinel that his issue with "Achy Breaky Heart" has more to do with the song itself than the man who sings it.
''I think country music is going to be around for a very, very long time, and I think we're going to have a lot of success, provided that we don't screw it up,'' Tritt said. "We make sure when people come to our shows that we educate them as to who Merle Haggard, George Jones, Johnny Cash, Waylon Jennings and all these people are. They leave with a good knowledge of what country music's background and history is."
Tritt's sentiment still rings true today and is why he has been so vocal about his dislike for Beyonce's CMA Awards performance. For Travis Tritt, it's about the music, not the artist.
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