As country music’s biggest stars prepared to celebrate the annual CMA Awards, a group of artists, academics and historians gathered to correct the record on the genre’s past and offer ideas on how it can expand outside its typical white lines.
Just steps from the show’s home at Bridgestone Arena, speakers addressed the erasure of Black artists from country music’s history and whether the industry could be more welcoming to artists of color.
Dubbed the Rosedale Summit and held Monday simultaneously in Nashville at the National Museum of African American Musi c and the Grammy Museum in Los Angeles, it was a timely event acknowledging the genre’s recent struggles to address race within its ranks.
“It’s overdue. The CMAs are later this week and we want to have a conversation about what the awards really should look like,” said Sam Viotty, co-founder of the record label Rosedale Collective and one of the organizers of the event.