‘Voice’ Alum Cassadee Pope Is Leaving Country Music

Cassadee Pope / Facebook

Former winner of The Voice, Cassadee Pope, has announced that she is leaving the country music genre.

Cassadee Pope is returning to her punk rock and pop roots and is leaving behind a genre that she calls problematic. Prior to competing on The Voice in 2012 and being funneled into the country music scene, Pope was the frontman for the pop-punk band Hey Monday. In a new interview with Rolling Stone, the singer-songwriter talks about what motivated this change in direction:

“I realize every genre has problematic people in it. I’m not saying there’s not a frontman in a band who hasn’t been accused of something in rock music. But I guess rock is in my bones more. You’re not completely ostracized and shamed for speaking out.”

In recent years, Pope has been outspoken on issues of race and gender identity, even finding herself in the middle of internet feuds with other prominent country music names.

Cassadee Pope called out Brittany Aldean for her comments labeled as “transphobic.”

In the summer of 2022, Brittany Aldean, wife of country music superstar Jason Aldean, posted a makeup video to Instagram and in the caption thanked her parents for not “changing her gender” when she went through her “tomboy phase.”

Pope, who is an avid supporter of the LGBTQ+ movement, responded with a tweet that said:

“You’d think celebs with beauty brands would see the positives in including LGBTQ+ people in their messaging. But instead here we are, hearing someone compare their “tomboy phase” to someone wanting to transition. Real nice.”

This inspired another outspoken country artist and friend of Pope, Maren Morris, to chime in and double down on her comments. Morris snapped back at Aldean, saying that is is easy to “not be a scumbag human” and giving her the nickname “insurrection Barbie.”

A social media battle ensued, with each party sharing additional posts to defend their stance. As a result, both Pope and Morris report receiving death threats from outraged fans. Pope recalls of the aftermath of the altercation:

“I had no feeling of regret. I just kept my head down and kept going. It’s only been the past few months that I’ve let my guard down in therapy and said, ‘Wait, I actually wasn’t OK.’ But I think that kind of comes with the territory of including activism in your life. You’re not going to please everyone.”

Cassadee Pope does not regret her decision to pursue country music in Nashville.

Despite her current feelings towards the country music industry, Pope says that moving to Nashville after winning The Voice as a part of Blake Shelton’s team made perfect sense. She was raised in southern Florida listening to the likes of Shania Twain, and has often been told that she has a slight twang in her voice.

However, Pope struggled to get her music played by country radio, often feeling caught in the middle between country and alternative. She was eventually dropped by her label, Big Machine, and has since been releasing music independently. Her forthcoming album she says will be full of “belting emo moments and explosive choruses.”

Read the full interview with Rolling Stone here.

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