Sturgill Simpson Crashes the CMA’s

The most talked-about secret at tonight’s CMA Awards: Sturgill Simpson playing outside the rules, and outside of the building as the awards glammed on inside Bridgestone Arena.

Sturgill Simpson may have had a Grammy in his guitar case, but tonight he spent the evening busking for tips outside the biggest award show of the year. His little piece of sidewalk was the stage, and a few hand-drawn signs were the set as he bared his three chords and truth for anyone who would listen.

The artist was flanked by an open guitar case, his Grammy award for Best Country Album, and a couple signs that read, “I don’t take requests, but I take questions about anything you want to talk about … because fascism sucks” and another sign that read, “Struggling country singer… Anything helps (all donations go to the ACLU). God Bless America.”

Simpson took questions from someone off-camera who was reading Facebook Live comments and the singer also answered queries from passers-by. Over the course of 48 minutes, several fans stopped by to give him props, chat and take selfies. More than a dozen people had gathered by the end of his chat, but there were more than 79,000 who viewed the video online by the time it concluded, with a steady stream of more than 4000 watching live. “I’m just hanging out, I’m just down here being an asshole,” he quipped when asked what he was doing. –

Sturgill Simpson on Country Music News Blog

(via The Tennessean) Between tunes, Sturgill took questions. Asked what he’d say in a hypothetical CMA acceptance speech, he had a few key points to hit:

– “Nobody needs a machine gun, coming from a guy who owns quite a few guns.”

– “Gay people should have the right to be happy….

– “Black people are probably tired of getting shot in the streets and being enslaved by the prison industrial complex….

– “Hegemony and fascism is alive and well in Nashville, Tennessee.”

At the end of his concert, Simpson decided the experiment was a success.

Well, we made 13 bucks for the ACLU tonight, so it was all worth it.

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About Shauna "WhiskeyChick" Castorena

Shauna "WhiskeyChick" Castorena is a freelance writer for both Country Music News and Country Music On Tour. Want to collab on some content? Email me. Want my rates for commercial promo work? Get them right here.