John Rich Explains Why He Defended Carrie Underwood Over Mask Controversy

by Josh Lanier
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John Rich thinks there is a growing divide between country music and its audience. Social media “cancels” artists for speaking their minds, so he says he has to speak up. That’s why he’s defending Carrie Underwood after her Twitter account liked an anti-mask post.

John Rich told Taste of Country that he felt compelled to stick up for Underwood because, he said, freedom of speech means more to him than the “approval of the music industry.”

“We’re at a point in this country where you can’t express your opinion, even in the slightest bit, without running the risk that they’re going to come at you with their razor blades at the ready to cut you up and tear you down just over your opinion,” Rich told the website. “And so, there’s a real issue right now within the artists of country music and the audience of country music. They could not be further apart.”

People dragged Carrie Underwood in August after her Twitter account like a post from a conservative podcaster, The Hill reported. In the Twitter video she liked, Matt Walsh railed against mask mandates for school children. Walsh said the mandates force kids to “go to school all day every day wearing muzzles like rabid dogs.” Underwood didn’t comment on the post or the backlash.

Rich said smaller artists see this and decide to keep quiet rather than face the mob’s wrath.

“You’ve got a lot of artists that are not Carrie Underwood size, but they are up-and-comers or mid-level artists that have got just as strong of opinions as anybody, but they will not say anything because if they do, the industry will crush them,” he said. “I’m in a unique position where I don’t care about the industry. I just really don’t care.”

John Rich: Speak Up and The Audience Will Listen

This is something John Rich has discussed before. The outspoken conservative said country musicians often feel “muzzled” and unable to express themselves for fear of backlash.

That tweet cost him thousands of followers, he said. Though, he says he’s happy to pay that price.

“Lost 10k followers in 12 hours,” the Big & Rich singer tweeted later. “It’s an honor to be attacked for professing my loyalty to God, Country, and family. If big tech liked me, I’d take it as an insult. #OnwardChristianSoldiers.”

Rich told Taste of Country that he’s tired of trying to play to the whims of the music industry and political correctness. He’d much rather speak his mind and deal with the consequences because he finds his true fans that way.

“I’m going to say what I mean and mean what I say and let the chips fall,” he states. “The industry doesn’t give a s–t about what happens to me anymore, but the audience out there is picking up on what I’m saying. There are new opportunities coming my way. I’m still going to write songs no matter what because that’s what I do. I may not make a bunch of money on them like I used to, but that’s okay. That’s the existence for me that I’m happy with right now.”

Outsider.com