*Beyonce will mosey on down to Nashville tonight to perform at the 2016 Country Music Association Awards, airing at 8 p.m. on ABC.
Details of her appearance and choice of song are being kept under wraps, but it’s likely she’ll sing “Daddy Lessons,” the closest thing to country off of her current “Lemonade” album.
“It’s going to be a huge performance. Epic!” an insider tells Us Weekly.
“Daddy Lessons” was country enough to become a mild crossover hit on country radio shortly after the visual album’s release in April.
The Dixie Chicks even covered it during a concert overseas.
“There is just something intangible about [‘Daddy Lessons’] that it feels like a country song,” country singer Dierks Bentley told Billboard in May. “It’s not just choruses that are catchy and verses that could be intermixed anywhere as some pop songs are. It’s a real story that she tells about what’s going on in her life growing up.”
Watch Bey perform “Daddy Lessons” below, and watch Bey (probably) perform it live tonight at the CMA Awards, 8 p.m. tonight (Nov 2) on ABC
As previously reported, Nashville was not unified in its embrace of “Daddy Lessons”:
Alison Bonaguro, a critic for Country Music Television, wrote that “some yee-haws, a little harmonica and mentions of classic vinyl, rifles and whiskey” does not constitute a country song.
“All of the sudden, everyone’s acting like she’s moved to Nashville and announced that she’s country now. Just because of this song ‘Daddy Lessons,’” she wrote of the Texas native’s tune, according to ET. “It doesn’t sound like a country song to me, she didn’t cut it at a studio in Tennessee, and it certainly wasn’t written by a group of Nashville songwriters.”
A critic for Saving Country Music shared a similar opinion, writing: “‘Daddy Lessons’ is not country. And if you’re a country fan who regularly doesn’t listen to anything but country, there’s nothing to see here.”
Kevin Cossom, one of the track’s co-writers, told Billboard that it “painted a country picture,” and Beyonce set out to keep the song as “organic” and simple as possible. “It sounded tough. ‘So my daddy said shoot.’ You see the whiskey on the table. You see the rifle. It just had that feel to it. It didn’t take the hip-hop element to make it tough, which I think is very cool especially for Beyonce,” he said. “And it goes with her being from Texas. Her vibe to it just makes sense for how it all came together.”