This story has been updated.
Well well, it’s starting to get a little chippy out there after reigning CMA Entertainer of the Year Garth Brooks admitted mere moments after his CMA Awards performance Wednesday night (11-8) that he’d lip synced his song “Ask Me How I Know.”
“”We made a game time call on whether to sing to a track or lip sync. And we decided to lip sync it,” Garth Brooks admitted backstage at the CMAs. “We’re in the middle of 12 shows in 10 days. Not 10 shows in 12 days, 12 shows in 10 days. We decided to lip-sync it because my voice was just not there, and we wanted to represent country music the best we can.”
Apparently that didn’t sit well with someone else who was in attendance at the CMA Awards on the arm of Miranda Lambert. Anderson East, a well-regarded east Nashville Americana artist who is signed to Dave Cobb’s record label, decided to take to Twitter late Thursday night, and spell out exactly how he felt about Garth’s attempt at musical subterfuge that he witnessed first hand from the CMA gallery.
“I keep a lot of my opinions to myself and respect anyone making music but as a person who tries to put on the best and most honest show I can night after night… this truly offends me,” Anderson said. “I was told country music is three chords and the truth.”
Anderson East may be once removed from mainstream country, yet being a well-known artist and the beau of Miranda Lambert gives Anderson’s opinion quite a bit more weight than your average troll spouting off on Twitter. And while his standing in the music industry is as important as anyone’s, the fact that Anderson is not a radio country star actually gives him the latitude to say what he feels without the worry of repercussions to his career. If anything, as an Americana artist, it allows Anderson’s star to burn brighter.
But make no mistake, this isn’t just a missive from Anderson East. This is a missile shot from the Miranda Lambert camp. Miranda later agreed with Anderson via his Instagram page.
“High five on this babe,” she responded. “If you can’t sing then don’t. It’s better to be honest than to pretend. I think it’s bullshit. My favorite performances in the show were live live. The truth.”
Garth does deserve some credit for immediately coming clean about the lip sync, and for even admitting in the past he would do it if he felt his voice wasn’t up to snuff. Many country stars would deny it to their grave, and frankly are probably much better at it than Garth because they do it so regularly. But when you look at the country music Entertainer of the Year, you hope to see someone who would be more inspiring of truly world-class entertainer qualities, and still be able to turn in a solid performance, even with a weak voice on little rest. Independent artists like Anderson East are tasked to do that many nights, and make the best of their God-given talent without leaning on technology.