Kenny Chesney, Travis Tritt react to Beyonce at CMAs

Kenny Chesney holds the award for entertainer of the year at the 42nd Annual Academy of Country Music Awards on Tuesday, May 15, 2007, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/Eric Jamison)

NASHVILLE (AP) – If it looked like Kenny Chesney was not impressed with Beyonce’s performance at the Country Music Association Awards, you’re imagining things.

Chesney has issued a statement saying fans should not be quick to assume what he’s thinking. He says he loves Beyonce and “her sense of how to make the music hit really hard.”

Meanwhile, Travis Tritt is defending himself after critical tweets about Beyonce’s performance. He had asked “when the BET or SoulTrain awards are gonna ask a country artist to perform on their awards show?”

He said country music can stand on its own and “We don’t need pop or rap artists to validate us.”

Tritt later tweeted he never expected to be labeled a racist, given that he’s performed with the likes of Buddy Guy, Ray Charles and Patti LaBelle. He says he doesn’t think it’s wrong for any genre of music to celebrate its background.

Country music star Travis Tritt is on the defensive – at least on the internet – when it comes to comments he made about Beyoncé’s appearance on the Country Music Association Awards.

The blowback from those comments included complaints that Tritt was being racist, especially since many country fans complaining about Beyoncé’s performance with The Dixie Chicks last week used similarly racially-tinged language.

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