Sturgill Simpson has long been a fiery critic of the mainstream country music industry, and now the singer is blasting the CMA Awards for not paying tribute to late country legend John Prine. In a post shared to Instagram, Simpson said he "wouldn't be caught dead" at the show, as he filmed himself rolling his eyes to Darius Rucker's performance of "Beers and Sunshine." Simpson then lamented that CMA's didn't spend even "two seconds" just to say Prine's name, then pointing to the TV and ridiculing the show for having "all the time in the world for this s—."
In the post's caption, Simpson wrote, "Don’t get it twisted... [I] wouldn’t be caught dead at this tacky a— glitter and botox cake & c— pony show even if my chair had a morphine drip. I just wanted to see if they would say his name but nope. No time for Buddha." Simpson then claimed, "I promise you they were asked to include him so a "nope, no time" decision was made by somebody... on Veterans Day no less."
He then added, "Good on ya AP! Its time for this hegemonic horse s— ship to sink and for that to happen the music press needs to ask and demand answers to the hard questions instead of depending on those of us outside the box for the 'tasty quote machine' answers." This appears to be in response to an article about the situation, but this is unconfirmed. "If the guitars look worn folks its not from playing," Simpson continued, "it’s from all the freshly scratched off rebel flag stickers."
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Prine passed away on April 7, after contracting the coronavirus in March. He had been hospitalized since March 26. In a memorial to his late mentor and friend, shared shortly after Prine's death, Simpson wrote, "I had to go into the woods and let myself 'just feel' this for a while. You left on a gorgeous moon. There are sometimes people in this life that you meet, seldom and few and far between it would seem, whose souls are so good and pure and beautiful that when they leave it seems if only for a brief while that everything else good and pure and beautiful in this world just left along with them."
In addition to his video clip defending Prine's legacy, Simpson also shared a screenshot that appears to be from Apple Music's country music section, showing his recent bluegrass album, Cuttin' Grass, as the top seller. The album beat out Luke Combs' What You See Ain't Always What You Get, Chris Stapleton's Traveller, and Sam Hunt's Montevallo. He referenced this by simply writing, "Oh yeah, by the way." This seems to be his tongue-in-cheek way of commenting on the perception of popularity occasionally being misleading.