In an open letter to The Tennesseean, Naomi Judd ripped the CMT awards for not staying true to country music — and for short changing George Jones’ death with an less than empathetic tribute.

Getty Images/Imeh Akpanudosen

Getty Images/Imeh Akpanudosen

The Letter:

George Jones is to country music what The Beatles are to pop, the Rolling Stones to rock, Elvis to rockabilly, Mozart to classical and Aretha to soul.

Yet, the “Country” Music Television awards show allowed only a “by the way” mention of Jones’ death and legacy. Incongruously, they chose alternative music group the Mavericks to perform their short version of George’s “The Race Is On.”
True country music fans are a loyal bunch and are passionate about our roots and heritage.
Every year, CMT includes artists of unrelated genres, many of whom some country music fans don’t even know. I suggest the CMT Awards show change its name. Perhaps to “the Multi-Genre Awards Show, Featuring Artists under 30.”
I realize speaking out will cause me to now be forever banned by CMT. But I’m tired of folks messing with my country music. Especially when it involves my dear friend George Jones.

Naomi Judd

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