3 of the Biggest (And Silliest) Feuds in Country Music

The country music industry has seen its share of feuds through the years. It’s unavoidable, really. When big egos, creative personalities, and lots of money are involved, there’s likely to be a spat or two between a few big names in the industry. Let’s dive into three of the biggest (and, honestly, kind of silly) feuds in country music history. Keep in mind there are many more than these three; a list of them all would never end.

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1. Charlie Rich vs. John Denver

This is by far one of the biggest feuds in country music history, and many still remember when it started. Back in 1975, John Denver won the CMA Entertainer of the Year award. Charlie Rich announced the win… and then promptly burned the card with Denver’s name on stage.

It was an ugly moment and no one in the audience knew what to do. Many believe that Rich was angry at Denver’s success. However, later on, Rich’s own son said he believed that his father was simply drunk and not thinking clearly. Unfortunately for Rich, the stunt cost him his career in a number of ways. To this day, no one knows if either side of the feud ever made up.

2. Tim McGraw vs. His Label

This feud took place in the 2010s, and a lot of people were on Tim McGraw’s side. The country singer was engulfed in a battle with Curb Records, who sought to keep him on their contract. They sued the singer around 2011 and claimed that he breached said contract. McGraw counter-sued and made it clear that he just wanted out of the “unfair” agreement. It wasn’t until 2013 that McGraw finally won his case and got signed with Big Machine.

[Get Tickets To See Tim McGraw Live In 2024]

3. Travis Tritt vs. Billy Ray Cyrus

By far one of the goofiest feuds in country music, this spat involved singers Travis Tritt and Billy Ray Cyrus. Allegedly, Tritt called Cyrus’ huge one-hit wonder “Achy Breaky Heart” a literally “a** wiggling contest.” Cyrus didn’t take kindly to this and referenced the diss in his acceptance speech at the 1993 American Music Awards. It was media candy for quite a while. In the years since, Tritt acknowledged that his comments were a bit rude. 

Photo by Rich Polk

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