December 12, 2017
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Show hosts Brad Paisley and Carrie Underwood speak on stage during the 51st Country Music Association Awards in Nashville November 8, 2017. — Reuters picShow hosts Brad Paisley and Carrie Underwood speak on stage during the 51st Country Music Association Awards in Nashville November 8, 2017. — Reuters picNEW YORK, Nov 9 — Two top country music stars jabbed US President Donald Trump for his itchy Twitter finger at an awards show yesterday after organisers unsuccessfully tried to keep politics out.

The Country Music Association had earlier warned journalists covering its annual gala in Nashville not to focus on politics, although it quickly revised its guidelines after a backlash.

Opening the nationally televised show, co-host Carrie Underwood teasingly said that the 2017 awards were a “politics-free zone.”

She and co-host Brad Paisley promptly went into a rendition of Underwood’s song of jealousy Because He Cheats, turning it into Because He Tweets with an eye on the social media-loving president.


  • Singers and husband and wife Kellie Pickler and Kyle Jacobs at the 51st Country Music Association Awards in Nashville, Tennessee November 9, 2017. — Reuters pic

  • Singer Clayton Anderson at the 51st Country Music Association Awards in Nashville, Tennessee November 9, 2017. — Reuters pic

  • Singer Scotty McCreery at the 51st Country Music Association Awards in Nashville, Tennessee November 9, 2017. — Reuters pic

  • Musical group Midland at the 51st Country Music Association Awards in Nashville, Tennessee November 9, 2017. — Reuters pic

  • Singer Jesse James Decker at the 51st Country Music Association Awards in Nashville, Tennessee November 9, 2017. — Reuters pic

  • Chris Young at the 51st Country Music Association Awards in Nashville, Tennessee November 9, 2017. — Reuters pic

  • Singer Carrie Underwood at the 51st Country Music Association Awards in Nashville, Tennessee November 9, 2017. — Reuters pic

  • Singer Brett Eldredge at the 51st Country Music Association Awards in Nashville, Tennessee November 9, 2017. — Reuters pic

  • Singer Garth Brooks at the 51st Country Music Association Awards in Nashville, Tennessee November 9, 2017. — Reuters pic

  • Entertainer Ruby Rose at the 51st Country Music Association Awards in Nashville, Tennessee November 9, 2017. — Reuters pic

  • Singer Keith Urban at the 51st Country Music Association Awards in Nashville, Tennessee November 9, 2017. — Reuters pic

  • Singer Miranda Lambert at the 51st Country Music Association Awards in Nashville, Tennessee November 9, 2017. — Reuters pic

  • Lea Michelle at the 51st Country Music Association Awards in Nashville, Tennessee November 9, 2017. — Reuters pic

  • Singer Pink and her daughter Willow at the 51st Country Music Association Awards in Nashville, Tennessee November 9, 2017. — Reuters pic

  • Rascal Flatts at the 51st Country Music Association Awards in Nashville, Tennessee November 9, 2017. — Reuters pic

  • Faith Hill and Tim McGraw at the 51st Country Music Association Awards in Nashville, Tennessee November 9, 2017. — Reuters pic

  • Reba McEntire at the 51st Country Music Association Awards in Nashville, Tennessee November 9, 2017. — Reuters pic

Paisley joked that Trump was sitting on a “gold-plated White House toilet seat” tweeting about football players, political rivals and “covfefe,” Trump’s infamous typo that became a neologism of sorts for his rhetorical style.

“It’s fun to watch it / That’s for sure / Until ‘Little Rocket Man’ starts a nuclear war / And then maybe next time he’ll think before he tweets,” Paisley sang, using Trump’s insult for North Korean strongman Kim Jong-un.

Yet the barbs on Trump were more light-hearted than biting, a contrast to major events in the pop music and film worlds in which the president has become a loathed figure.

Country traditionally has been the favourite music of conservative white Americans and the Country Music Association had especially urged journalists not to ask about gun control in the wake of the latest mass shootings.

The awards gala switched to a reverential tone to pay tribute to the 58 people killed on October 1 when a local man opened fire on a Las Vegas country music festival from his hotel in the deadliest mass shooting in modern US history.

Underwood, surrounded by candles and her eyes moistening, sang the American gospel hymn Softly and Tenderly as a screen flashed portraits of victims of the massacre, as well as country music stars who died in the past year.

The Country Music Association Awards, one of two major prizes in the industry, for the second straight year gave its top prize of Entertainer of the Year to 55-year-old mega-star Garth Brooks.

Taylor Swift, a country prodigy turned pop sensation whose latest album comes out tomorrow, won Song of the Year for Better Man, which she wrote for the group Little Big Town.

Album of the Year went to From a Room: Volume 1 by Chris Stapleton, a veteran country songwriter turned performer who also won the prize two years ago for his debut. — AFP



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