Beyoncé’s complicated relationship with country music can be traced back to one moment.

Long before the concept of her upcoming country album, Cowboy Carter, came to fruition, Beyoncé debuted what was then her most country-influenced song.

‘Daddy Lessons’, which featured on her critically acclaimed 2016 album Lemonade, saw the artist embracing her Texan roots. Just six months later, she performed it alongside The Dixie Chicks (now known as The Chicks) at the Country Music Association Awards.

However, before Beyoncé could even grace the stage, social media erupted with calls for a boycott of the CMAs because of the show’s decision to include her in the lineup.

Many were also outraged by the inclusion of The Chicks.

Watch: Megan Thee Stallion and Beyonce at The Grammys. Post continues below.

The Texan trio — Natalie Maines, Martie Maguire, and Emily Strayer  — were at the height of their success in 2003. With multiple number-one singles and albums, several Grammy Awards, and even a performance of the national anthem at the Super Bowl under their belt, they were riding high.

However, on March 10, 2003, just over a week before the US invasion of Iraq, the band took a bold political stance during a concert in London. 

“Just so you know, we’re on the good side with y’all. We do not want this war, this violence, and we’re ashamed that the President of the United States is from Texas,” declared Maines to a crowd that erupted in applause.

While their words resonated with many, they sparked fury among Americans back home, and the band was quickly branded as “Saddam’s Angels”. Their songs were banned from the radio, and Maines even required 24-hour security outside her home.

In many ways, they were among the earliest victims of cancel culture.

Yet, over a decade later, Beyoncé made a bold statement by inviting them to perform at the CMAs with her — a stage that had previously blacklisted The Chicks. 

But despite the years that had passed, people hadn’t forgotten the comments made by The Chicks. As a result, their performance at the CMAs wasn’t well-received by the audience and viewers at home. In fact, country music star Alan Jackson reportedly walked out in response.

After the performance, there was no mention of Beyoncé or The Chicks’ appearance on the CMA’s website.

But the exclusion didn’t end there. Even The Grammys refused to acknowledge ‘Daddy Lessons’ at the 2016 ceremony. The song was rejected by the Recording Academy’s Country Music Committee after being submitted for consideration in both the Best Country Song and Solo Country Performance categories.