On September 20, the Country Music Association released a music video to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Country Music Association Awards. Thirty iconic country artists collaborated for the creation of Forever Country, which pays tribute and celebrates the history and progression of the genre.
Scott Scovill, the 2014 CMA winner for Tour Director of the Year (he travelled with Brad Paisley), worked on the music video. Scovill said this type of collaboration was executed so well because of the selflessness of the artists and the community within Nashville’s genre.
“The best thing about country music is that we can put our personal agendas aside for the good of country music. There is such a strong sense of community that exists. There is more team work and friendship that there is competition,” Scovill said.
Working in country music is unique because the collaboration that fans saw in Forever Country exists in all parts of the process of creating music, according to Scovill.
“As a creative director, I let everyone do their job and don’t try and take over aspects of production that I am not specialized in. It is so important to make artists feel comfortable to say ‘no’ and go out of your way to let others have input,” Scovill said.
The genre is known to have traditional values, but as society changes, the genre is keeping up with more modern times. The style of country music is certainly changing, and is attracting a more diverse audience. This year at the CMAs, Beyoncé performed “Daddy’s Lessons,”a song from Beyoncé’s Lemonade album, with the Dixie Chicks. This bold move from the Country Music Association drew in a pop fan base that was able to see an iconic pop performer change tunes and showcase the fun vibe twang is taking on. Country artists at the awards show enjoyed the performance, and Kenny Chesney, a long time star in country, praised the performance.
Diversifying country music is the trend, and many artists are embracing it while staying true to bluegrass roots. While there are lyrics that will always talk about a tractor or an ice cold beer, the music is also focusing on real issues like social tolerance, a much needed topic of discussion in a deeply polarized country. Country music will continue to be a community-centered genre, and efforts to expand who is part of that community is ever-expanding.