Sturgill Simpson Slams ACM Awards for Exploiting Merle Haggard’s Legacy; Lambasts Garden And Gun Magazine For Reneging On Promised Haggard Cover

Photo by Reto Sterchi
Photo by Reto Sterchi

Sturgill Simpson thinks Music Row is exploiting the legacy of the late Merle Haggard, and he’s not happy about it. Earlier today, Simpson took to Facebook to protest the Academy of Country Music’s recent announcement that it would be presenting the first annual ACM Merle Haggard Spirit Award later this month at its annual awards show.

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“I’m writing this because I want to go on record and say I find it utterly disgusting the way everybody on Music Row is coming up with any reason they can to hitch their wagon to his name while knowing full and damn well what he thought about them,” Simpson wrote. “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 along with all the high school pageantry, meat parade award show bullshit and start dedicating their programs to more actual Country Music.”

Simpson, who became friends with Haggard before his death in April of this year, writes that the late singer felt “forgotten and tossed aside” by Nashville, adding that he wanted “one last last proper victory lap of his own.”

In the post, Simpson also lambasts Garden and Gun magazine for reneging on its commitment to put Haggard and Simpson on the cover of its April/May 2016 “Country Music Issue.” Simpson writes that Haggard made himself available for a two-hour photo shoot after having recently recovered from double pneumonia, only to have the cover pulled at the last minute.

You can read the full post here.


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