Jason Isbell Clarifies Stance on Returning CMA Membership

by Kayla Zadel
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Jason Isbell is clearing up the news around the recent return of his CMA membership. But perhaps his comments are just muddying the waters even more.

According to the Los Angeles Times, Jason Isbell says he never asked to join the Country Music Association. Rather the lifetime membership was pushed upon him. The joining of the club came in when he was nominated in 2017 for album of the year with “The Nashville Sound.”

The Controversial Tweet

Isbell told the LA Times it was like an unwanted marriage. This so-called “marriage” is now over. This came after a viral tweet announcing both his and Isbell’s wife’s, Amandae Shires, return of their CMA memberships.

Jason Isbell Speaks Out on Meaning Behind the Message

Isbell found various aspects of the CMA Awards show upsetting. In an interview with the LA Times, he continues to share his dislike for the prestigious trade group. His wife, Amanda Shires, also joins in on the conversation.

Isbell took the lack of honoring John Prine, who died from the coronavirus earlier this year, personally. He says, “We were really, really close to John. And Amanda worked with Billy Joe Shaver during her whole career.” Shires confirms that Prine is the reason she’s in the industry as a songwriter.

The Grammy award winner goes on to explain what his problem is with the association. “The issue for me is that the artists the Country Music Association looks to as quote-unquote credible artists,” Isbell says some of these artists are Chris Stapleton, Ashley McBryde, and Eric Church. Billy Joe Shaver, Jerry Jeff Walker, and John Prine are continuing to influence the work of today’s artists.

As a matter of fact, Isbell believes that the association intentionally left the artists out of the show. He analyzes the press release put out by the award show. Isbell thinks that they wanted the show to be a “drama-free piece of entertainment.” However, that’s far from what the award show got after the backlash of gathering country music artists, that happened to be mask-free, in a closed-room.

Outsider.com