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HomeAnonymousCountry Music Scene Split by Culture Wars: ‘The Heels Are …

Country Music Scene Split by Culture Wars: ‘The Heels Are …

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The Nashville community of musicians, formerly a historically close-knit bunch, is increasingly splitting apart due to differences in political opinion, as well as highly publicized feuds taking opposing sides to task.

“It really is weird right now,” a country music manager who wished to remain anonymous told Rolling Stone. “Country music has aways been this kind of neighborhood where everyone gets along. We had everyone’s back. But it doesn’t feel that way anymore. The heels are dug in more than ever. It’s pretty heavy.”

"I've always enjoyed seeing people in the hallways backstage," he added. "But it's not like that. You tend to avoid people because everyone talks politics backstage. Everyone used to leave their dressing room doors open. The doors are shut now."

He further noted that this culture of avoidance has affected artist bookings, bringing up a slate of questions that were not considered in earlier years. "Are we going to get along with these people? And what are they going to put on their socials that might affect the tour? What are they going to put on Twitter where all of a sudden you're on CNN having to defend them or not?"

Singer playing the guitar during his concertGetty Images

"You have to be careful who you associate with now," he concluded.

According to country music festival producer Rendy Lovelady, this icy atmosphere has grown over the past decade, with artists increasingly choosing to "to stay in their own community" and not mingle with other artists billed on the same stage.

"Nobody said, 'I don't want to be around them because I don't agree with what they're saying.' But they kind of just do it," he explained to Rolling Stone.

Romeo Entertainment Group President R.J. Romeo told the outlet that the country music industry is "not immune" from the concerns of the larger country.

"There's more divisiveness in the country now than ever before. That's going to show up in opinions on music and everything."

Recent heated feuds in the Nashville music community include debates over Jason Aldean's polarizing single "Try That in a Small Town" (which was critically taken to task by Jason Isbell); as well as a well-publicized social media exchange between singer Maren Morris and Aldean's wife Brittany Aldean, in which the former denounced comments by the latter as transphobic.


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