September 12

Fight Fire with Fire: 5 Classic Country Music Feuds

A little bit of drama can be hard to escape, especially in the world of music and showbiz. Stars and artists with clashing personalities, musical influences and styles, and even contradicting beliefs fail to meet halfway at some point and end up with either the classiest, most brutal, or entertaining feuds of all time.

In this article, we reminisce some of the biggest disputes between our favorite classic country music artists, and retrace how they ended up scorning each other’s guts.

1. Grand Ole Opry VS. Johnny Cash

Some of you may find it shocking to discover that the late Johnny Cash, who is also dubbed as The Man in Black, had a misunderstanding with the Grand Ole Opry. The fight led him to be banned from the group. But the reason behind Grand Ole Opry’s displeasing reaction to Cash started after the latter accidentally broke some of the floor lights on the prestigious and well-known venue for country music performances. Needless to say, the group was not happy with how Cash’s performance turned out. Cash told reporters, “I don’t know how bad they wanted me in the first place. But the night I broke all the lights on the stage with the microphone stand, they said they couldn’t use me anymore.”

Thankfully, the misunderstanding came to its end and Grand Ole Opry re-opened their doors to Johnny Cash.

2. Dolly Parton VS. Porter Wagoner

In 1974, Porter Wagoner filed a breach of contract suit against Dolly Parton shortly after Parton left his band. Prior to Dolly’s parting of ways with Wagoner, the two country artists shared blissful moments as they combined their singing talents and produced many beautiful songs. On one occasion, Parton even wrote a song for Wagoner, titled, I Will Always Love You.

When Dolly was asked why she left the band, she simply stated, “I don’t mean this in a bad way, but he was very much a chauvinistic pig.”

3. John Denver VS. Charlie Rich

If you thought that the Kanye VS. Taylor was the worst feud you’ve seen in a prestigious awards night for musicians, you have not yet witnessed how Rich literally set Denver’s awarding up in flames. At the awarding of the 1975 CMA Entertainer of the Year, Rich, who was already intoxicated, set the paper that held Denver’s name as the award’s recipient on fire.

4. Dixie Chicks VS Toby Keith

This feud between the country music girl band and singer Toby Keith began with a bitter exchange of criticism and ended on a sadder, yet eye-opening note for one of the parties involved. It all began after Dixie Chicks’ lead singer Natalie Maines described Keith’s Courtesy of the Red, White, and Blue as a piece that’s “ignorant, and makes country music sound ignorant.” To which her fellow country artist responded by Maines’ picture with Saddam Hussein on one of his tours in 2003.

But when the 2-year-old daughter of one of Keith’s band members died due to cancer, Keith finally realized just how insignificant his feud with the Dixie Chicks lead vocalist was. “Enough is enough” Keith said in an interview.

5. Miranda Lambert VS Eric Church VS Carrie Underwood

Miranda Lambert proved fans and fellow country artists that she truly is someone not to be messed with. After a spiteful remark Eric Church had about reality singing competitions, Lambert took it upon herself to stand up for artists like her whose initial rise to fame was all thanks to winning the respective singing competition shows that they joined.

Church told Rolling Stone, Honestly, if Blake Shelton and CeeLo Green f*cking turn around in a red chair, you got a deal? That’s crazy. I don’t know what would make an artist do that. You’re not an artist.” Upon hearing about Church’s interview, Lambert spat back with twice as much sass, “Thanks, Eric Church for saying I’m not a real artist. Or Kelly Clarkson, Carrie Underwood and Keith Urban.”

In return, Church was quick to give an apology and clarified his earlier statement. “The shows make it appear that artists can shortcut their way to success.” He explained further that his comment was part of a larger commentary on reality television shows for artists and the perception that such branding and set-up creates. He added that he was not particularly attacking the artists involved in the shows.


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