Blake Shelton Acts Like A ‘Dumbass’ For A PR Nightmare


Blake-Shelton_320

So, the news broke
a couple of days ago Blake
Shelton made some disparaging comments about 'classic country' fans
. From
his updated GAC Backstory that originally aired in December, Blake stated: “If I am “Male Vocalist of
the Year” that must mean that I’m one of those people now that gets to decide
if it moves forward and if it moves on. Country music has to evolve in order to
survive. Nobody
wants to listen to their grandpa’s music. And I don’t care how many of these
old farts around Nashville going, “My God, that ain’t country!” Well
that’s because you don’t buy records anymore, jackass. The
kids do, and they don’t
want to buy the music you were buying.” Since this, radio
stations have been rumored to have removed his songs from their rota, particularly his new single
'Sure Be Cool If You Did' which was only released on January 1st. In addition,
there has been outcry with young and old country fans alike, who have not taken
kindly to his words. I have a few problems with it too. Blake has a history on
Twitter of running his mouth and saying things that have offended or upset
people. However, up until now the majority of people have been fine with it
(including me) because often it was amusing, light-hearted, and all in good
fun. This was not.

It doesn't take a
genius to figure out that country music is hugely respecting of tradition and
constructs itself around affiliations and references to the past. Some of the
biggest stars in its history have reinvented the genre with a newer, more
modern sound, but they have always kept something of the new, reminding people
where they came from and always laying down the red carpet, literally and
metaphorically, for the greats that came before them. The traditional nature of
country music demands a respect for the legends in the way that the elder and
head of a family would demand respect. In line with this, Blake has often
performed covers of older songs on stage. For Blake to suddenly turn round and
disrespect those who came before him is rude, ungrateful and unnecessary.
Country music is what it is because of them, and where was he to gain by
bad-mouthing them?

In addition, it is
a well-known fact that country fansof all ages listen to and love classic
country, as well as the more modern sound. I have known 70-year-olds who listen
to Carrie Underwood, and equally people in their teens who are big fans of
Willie, Merle and even Hank Sr. People are often known to like both, despite
the different sounds, because as human beings it is innate to love music, and
that means more than one type. So for Blake to dismiss classic country fans as
'old farts' and 'jackasses' is vastly inaccurate and a frankly idiotic thing to
say. Which brings me to my next point. What on Earth makes him think he has the
right to say something like that?! His 'excuse' is that he's been crowned Male
Vocalist of the Year – a title which is awarded to a different country artist
each year, and at MULTIPLE award shows. He thinks that because he now has this
title, he gets to decide how the future of country goes? What it sounds like?
If everyone crowned MV decided that, there would be a lot of people thinking
they have sole control over a multi-billion dollar meta-genre, and let's face
it, that's not at all true. No one person gets to decide. No one person is
responsible.

Everyone just makes
their music and what people like they consume, and it's a gradual process. Call
it a form of natural selection. Country music is not like pop, it is not prone
to brief fads, but it DOES have fad-like phases, they just last a lot longer.
For Blake to decide that he can choose the direction of country music, that his
music alone can have the power to change the trends, is egocentric and makes
him look, frankly, 'up himself'. Particularly as his most recent single is
distinctly average. Perhaps he was prematurely defending himself for going for
a more 'pop' sound. Perhaps it's more defense against being a coach on 'The
Voice'. Frankly just because you are appearing on television for helping an
already talented individual get a bit better and get more votes than the other
talented individuals, it doesn't mean you're a massive superstar and have the
right to say those things. Blake's not sitting on top of the tree. Being on The
Voice doesn't make him the spokesperson for country music. All this attention
lately has made him get too big for his boots and while that's okay in pop and
rock music, it's not a desirable characteristic in country music because
artists are actually expected to be decent people.

A lot of people have said "but he's selling loads of records", but so
has Luke Bryan. Jason Aldean's selling out stadiums within minutes. All the
older stars are still touring extensively, selling loads of records and being
eaten up by fans. Look at George Strait's tour. Country music is not about the
kids, it's not age-exclusive like pop. It's for everyone, and even now with an
ever-increasing teenage demographic, the adults still rule the fanbase. Blake
thinks that because country music is appealing to kids it's all about them.
Often they're the most fairweather casual fans out there and are more likely
not to listen to country as a whole, and also favor huge crossover artists like
Taylor Swift. True, there are plenty of teenagers entirely devoted to country
music, but generally the younger people are less likely to be the dedicated
country fans. At that age, you're still finding your favorite music, going
through changes and subject to peer pressure. 

Blake made an 'apology' on Twitter yesterday: “The truth is my statement was and STILL Is about
how we as the new generation of country artists have to keep re-inventing
country music to keep it popular. Just EXACTLY… The way Mr. Price did along hid
journey as a main stream country artist.. Pushing the boundaries with his
records. “For The Goodtimes” Perfect example with the introduction of a bigger
orchestrated sound in country music.. It was new and awesome!!! I absolutely
have no doubt I could have worded it better(as always ha!) and I apologize to
Mr. Price and any other heroes of mine that it may offended.. I meant every
word I said. Country music is my life and it’s future AND past is important to
me. I’ll put my Lo(v)e and respect and knowledge About it up against anybody
out there… ANYBODY…” It
was what one person described as a 'nonpology', because he didn't recognise
what he said was wrong. He was still defending his actions, just saying he
didn't mean to offend anyone, it came out wrong. While I'm inclined to believe
that Blake says things on impulse, he and his management could have made GAC
take that part of the interview out. And didn't mean to offend anyone? By
calling them 'old farts' and 'jackasses'? What part of that isn't meant to be
offensive somehow?! Ray Price sent an angry open letter to Blake, and Ray
Stevens has followed, including numerous other figures in the country music
industry.

I think Ray Price
was right to contest it because as previously mentioned, the lack of disrespect
is colossal. Apart from anything else, Blake understands the cultural paradigms
of country music, so why would he think it was acceptable to say any of this? Last
night, during the inaugural Country Music Blog Rodeo Twitter Chat, I asked
people whether the decision by some radio stations to take Blake's song off
their playlists, and the outrage that had already occurred on social media
would result in a Dixie Chicks-like boycott. We've seen how country fans and
the country industry can react to one comment and we've seen how it can end a
career. The responses I received were about 50/50. Some people thought it would
result in a full-on boycott, others didn't think the comment made was drastic
enough for that. Personally I can see a lot of fans lost, but equally I think
this will die down. I was speaking to someone about this mess last night and we
agreed it will be interesting to see how the ACMs go. If Blake's in luck, it'll
be the subject of jokes, but I feel like by April the majority of people will
have calmed down. I'm not sure where I stand on it. I've liked Blake for a while
and I like his music (although he's not my favorite). This comment has clearly
greatly annoyed me but I'm waiting to see what comes next.

What do you think
will come next?

Posted by Vickye (Guest Writer).
If you want to check out my own blog it's For The Country Record, and you can
follow me on twitter @planmymistake. You can email me at
[email protected]

(Visited 86 times, 1 visits today)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

Shares