Sturgill Simpson Says They Did Merle Haggard Wrong
Sturgill Simpson released a strong statement on Facebook today slamming the Academy of Country Music and Garden & Gun magazine, saying they both disrespected Merle Haggard.
Today the ACMs announced Miranda Lambert as the recipient of the inaugural Merle Haggard Spirit Award at the upcoming ACM Honors Awards which is meant to honor Haggard’s quest to create music true to himself. The Academy felt that Lambert lived up to that concept. Simpson did not...and he let it be known.
Simpson said “If the ACM wants to actually celebrate the legacy and music of Merle Haggard, they should drop all the formulaic cannon fodder bullshit they’ve been pumping down rural America’s throat for the last 30 years and start dedicating their programs to more actual country music.”
Simpson reminded everybody how Nashville essentially squashed Haggard’s career and yet, now the establishment wants to attach themselves to his name.
“In the last chapter of his career and his life, Nashville wouldn’t call, play, or touch him,” Simpson said. “He felt forgotten and tossed aside. I always got a sense that he wanted one last hit. One last proper victory lap of his own, and we all know he deserved it. Yet it never came.”
Simpson also took a shot at Garden & Gun magazine, who had promised him that Haggard would be on the cover of their country music issue. Simpson and Haggard even spent an entire day at his California ranch with a renowned photographer. At the last moment, the magazine decided to put Chris Stapleton on the cover.
Simpson said “Don’t get me wrong, Chris had a great year and deserves a million magazine covers but that's not the point. It’s about keeping your word and ethics. Chris also knows this as he called me personally to express his disgust at the situation. Dude’s a class act.”