Ahead of Wednesday’s Country Music Association Awards, rumors swirled that an unlikely performer would perform at the show. Social media was abuzz that none other than Beyoncé was set to join the Dixie Chicks in a crossover performance for the ages. When it was eventually confirmed, the CMAs—which are largely ignored in certain parts of the country—suddenly became must-see TV. Call it: The Beyoncé effect.
As many expected, Beyoncé and the Dixie Chicks performed “Daddy Issues” off of Lemonade, a country-infused song which the Dixie Chicks had previously covered live. And, while many praised the CMAs for inviting an outsider to their party, some country music die-hards were less enthusiastic. As Slate points out, the CMA’s Facebook page is littered with comments from fans who took issue with both Beyoncé and the Dixie Chicks, neither of whom have hidden their left-leaning political views. “One doesn’t believe in America and our police force and the other didn’t support our President and veterans during war,” one user wrote in reference to the Dixie Chicks’ infamous 2003 anti-Bush diatribe.
But, despite the minor backlash, the Beyoncé takeover was a huge hit inside the building and resonated outside with fans who don’t usually pay much attention to country music, a genre and industry that has the tendency to feel very insular. Who knows, last night could be the start of a beautiful friendship. Watch Beyoncé perform “Daddy Issues” with the Dixie Chicks below.