Sturgill Simpson slams country music industry over Merle Haggard award
Stimpson rips ACM for 'formulaic cannon fodder b.s. they've been pumping down rural America's throat'
Miranda Lambert on Tuesday night will receive the Merle Haggard Spirit Award at the Academy of Country Music Honors ceremony, but one country singer is having none of it.
Sturgill Simpson went on a rant on his Facebook page Monday at what he called the "unjust treatment of a music legend" due to the creation of the new award.
Haggard died in April at age 79. He was a prominent figure of the outlaw country movement and pioneer of the rougher-edged, California-born Bakersfield sound, which was a reaction to the slickly produced, strings-laden music emerging from Nashville.
Simpson feels the award is exploiting Haggard and is against what the rebellious artist, whose classics included Mama Tried and Sing Me Back Home, stood for.
"If the ACM wants to actually celebrate the legacy and music of Merle Haggard, they should drop all the formulaic cannon fodder bullshit they've been pumping down rural America's throat for the last 30 years along with all the high school pageantry, meat parade award show bullshit and start dedicating their programs to more actual country music," said Simpson.
The Kentucky-born Simpson just finished off 11 Canadian dates this month in support of his third full-length release, A Sailor's Guide to Earth, and resumes his tour in September in the U.S.
Simpson predicted he would be "blackballed" by the industry. He also took pains to say that he has no issue with Lambert as an artist, although he added, "something tells me that in her heart, she knows I'm dead on."
Lambert has yet to publicly comment.
Reaction to his post online was mixed, with one pointing out the ACM Awards were originally based out of California and not on Nashville's Music Row.
The ACM Honors will be broadcast in the U.S. on CBS on Sept. 9.
Sturgill Simpson is great but he doesn't need to have a confrontation with ACM over a nonsensical award unless he wants to build his brand.—@sterlewine
Ok now I know what Sturgill said and I still agree—@JasonIsbell
Today's to-do list: song review, write new ep. of Unforgettable Country, attend meeting on ways to blackball <a href="https://twitter.com/SturgillSimpson">@SturgillSimpson</a>. Whoops!—@billydukes
With files from The Associated Press