I was watching a documentary about country music at home the other night. It was Dolly Parton. She was on screen as I was flipping channels. And you don’t change the channel on Dolly. Mostly I just wanted to listen to Dolly talk about her career but some other dudes, all veterans, came on and one of them started complaining about Bro Country, how it’s not real country music and how he doesn’t care about songs that feature “sugar shakers”, thank you very much Florida Georgia Line.
Last night the Country Music Association named Luke Bryan, the reigning prince of Bro Country, Entertainer of the Year. Does that end the Country Music civil war? Has old country conceded that new country is the way of the future?
Bryan wanted it bad. So bad Brad Paisley teased him about it during the opening monologue. Backstage Bryan told the media that:
"I have longed and sought after to get one of these in my hands ... To get the respect of the CMA board ... is a ginormous deal. I am really humbled. I think about the hard work it took to get here. I am so blessed this is from the CMAs and I will never take it for granted."
Many predict that now that the CMA (and the Academy of Country Music before that) has crowned Luke Bryan and Bro Country, the Grammys will have to follow. So, for all the backlash, and there has been backlash, even from within the community, Bro Country continues to thrive.
But will Luke Bryan continue to represent Bro Country? It happens. You get the respect you’re craving for and now that you have the respect, you try to keep it by changing, by playing safe. Very curious to see how he responds to it.