Award show collaborations disgrace country music

After Rihanna took stage with the lead singer of Sugarland, Jennifer Nettles, on the 46th annual ACM awards Sunday night, I have had enough.

Is country music in that much trouble that it needs a chart-topping artist like Rihanna to step in and encourage other genre fans to turn up country?

I view country music in a different light than most. I don’t just listen to the beat or follow the words-I do both. I concentrate on if the voice of the singer is enthusiastic about his or her song.

Country music fans want to relate to their singers; they want to hear about how bad their life sucks in a song.

They also listen to country to reminisce on how they fell in love that hot July night or how flipping their truck after their fifth beer is somehow an OK mistake.

So when professionals add in Steven Tyler, James Taylor and Rihanna to meaningful country music award shows it makes me wonder: if they aren’t true fans now, will they ever be?

Rihanna’s last single “What’s My Name?” topped the charts in pop and R&B, but how would any country music fan relate? Country music doesn’t need to be reassured on how cool or hip it is. Country artists release a song, and if the fans love it, it shows on the charts.

I was never as confused as I was when Reba released her last single, “If I Were a Boy.” I mean, what’s next? Dolly Parton releasing “All the Single Ladies?” I just don’t understand why we need to collaborate with anyone in the R&B genre. How is it benefiting country music?

Brad Paisley opened the awards show by collaborating with the group Alabama, which was something that intrigued the audience.

Mixing old country and new country is a step in a better direction. Country music and R&B are completely different, and the demographics of the fans are on opposite sides of the spectrum, so why even bother?

The country music industry needs to stay loyal to its fans. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

Editor’s Note: Erica Finn is an Entertainment Industry major and has attended close to 60 country music concerts. She considers herself an extreme country music fan.