Lifetime member Jason Isbell is returning his lifetime CMA Membership card after the CMA Award fails to pay tribute to John Prine and other country legends.
4-time Grammy winner Jason Isbell is returning his Country Music Association lifetime membership. The cause? CMA’s lack of tribute, mention, or respect paid to legends John Prine is to blame. In addition, Isbell cites their failure to recognize Jerry Jeff Walker, and/or Billy Joe Shaver last night, as well.
“Due to @CountryMusic’s failure to mention John Prine, Jerry Jeff Walker, and Billy Joe Shaver at the CMA’s last night,” Isbell starts off in his announcement tweet, “@amandashires and I have decided to return our membership cards.”
If that weren’t enough, however, Isbell throws some hard self-pity into the ring. “I doubt anybody will care,” he says, “but we cared a lot about our heroes.”
Many artists agree John Prine, who died of COVID-19 in April, and fellow legends should have been honored last night. But does this really do anything to change it or improve the CMAs? Isbell also throws up photos of his membership card as proof. And he’s not alone in his gesture.
Jason Isbell & His Troubled History With Popular Music
Isbell is known for his solo career and his work with his band The 400 Unit. Mostly, however, he’s known as a former member of Drive-By Truckers (for six years). He is also known for his harsh split with said Drive-By Truckers. According to the NY Times, Isbell “found fame early and wasn’t ready for it.”
“When he was 22, he [became one of] the Drive-By Truckers, the brilliant and hard-living Alabama band. He quickly wrote several of the group’s signature songs. This includes the title cut of its 2003 album, “Decoration Day.” And a beautiful bummer of a tune called “Goddamn Lonely Love”. He almost as quickly burned out,” the publication goes on to note.
“Some people [become] drunk and become kind of sweet,” Patterson Hood, one of the Drive-By Truckers’ principal singer-songwriters, told the NY Times. “Jason [is not] one of those people.”
Isbell “left” the Truckers in 2007.
While John Prine was not mentioned at the CMA Awards, Miranda Lambert did perform a tribute to him at the prior Country Music Hall of Fame ‘Big Night‘.