The red carpet for the 53rd annual CMA Awards has started off with a bang, courtesy of Sugarland singer Jennifer Nettles. The country crooner arrived on the red carpet in very bold fashion, wearing a cape that read, "Play Our F---in Records, Please & Thank You." Her look and, more importantly, her message, will certainly serve as one of the most talked-about of the night.
Nettles' awards show moment comes a couple of years after Sugarland reunited after a six-year hiatus. Once they returned to the music scene, the duo released their single, "Still the Same." However, as sources such as Atlanta News Now have noted, the single failed to really take off on the radio.
It's unclear exactly why "Still the Same" didn't chart very highly, although, if Nettles' fashionable message is any indication, it possibly has something to do with whether the single is being played on the radio, at all.
In an interview with The Washington Post, published in July 2018, Nettles and her Sugarland bandmate, Kristian Bush, discussed how some of their newest tracks touch upon issues that are more divisive in nature, such as gun culture. For example, in one of their newest tracks, "Tuesday's Broken," the band addresses school shootings. "Yesterday, hell rained down/Another kid, another school in another town/I think about how to tell my son/And I think about how that one got a gun," they sang.
The same song then transitioned into a description about a person being bullied and, subsequently, being driven to the edge, "What if we looked in her eyes and asked 'Where does it hurt?'/Would she find all she was worth?"
When asked about the possibly divisive direction in some of their songs, Nettles explained that these songs contain messages that need to be heard.
"Art is supposed to be provocative and be polarizing, and at the same time, it is also a bridge," she said. "We need all these truths right now. People really need to hear it."
Nettles is set to have a busy night during the CMA's. The singer will be a part of the history-making opening performance alongside fellow icons, and the night's hosts, Carrie Underwood, Reba McEntire and Dolly Parton. On Instagram, Nettles related that she was so excited about the upcoming performance, writing, "I'm so honored to be part of #CMAawards' history-making opening performance, celebrating legendary women in Country Music!"