CMA Awards Explain Decision Not to Honor John Prine, Billy Joe Shaver, Jerry Jeff Walker

by Suzanne Halliburton
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CMA Awards show officials tried to explain why they didn’t honor the work of late country luminaries John Prine, Billy Joe Shaver and Jerry Jeff Walker earlier this week.

However, it wasn’t much of an explanation. The CMA issued a statement late Friday, saying:

“The CMA Awards broadcast historically does not include an In Memoriam segment. An In Memoriam did air in 2017 to honor the victims of the tragic shooting at Route 91 Harvest festival in Las Vegas.”

The snub prompted Grammy-winning singer-songwriters Jason Isbell and Amanda Shires to return their CMA lifetime membership cards. Isbell and Shires are married.

Isbell said in a later tweet he felt his “energy is best spent elsewhere.”

In a since deleted tweet, Sturgill Simpson spoke out about the CMA not honoring Prine. “Don’t get it twisted … Wouldn’t be caught dead at this tacky a– glitter and botox … pony show even if my chair had a morphine drip. I just wanted to see if they would say his name but nope.”

However, the show did honor four artists who died this year. They were Kenny Rogers, Mac Davis, Charlie Daniels and Joe Diffie.

John Prine Twitter Account Links to County Stars Singing His Covers

Prine, an extraordinary performer and songwriter, died last April of Covid 19. He was one of the first celebrities to die of the virus.

Before his death, Prine received a lifetime achievement award at the Grammys and a televised tribute.

Walker and Shaver, part of the Outlaw Country genre, died in the same week last month. Walker had battled throat cancer. Shaver died from a stroke.

Prine’s official Twitter account stayed busy this week, linking to his songs covered by country super stars.

Walker was best known for his iconic song “Mr Bojangles.

Tanya Tucker paid tribute to Shaver two weeks ago. Check out her tribute here.

Outsider.com