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ABC Censors Kacey Musgraves’ “Follow Your Arrow” CMAs Performance

If your response to Billboard’s feature on the controversy surrounding Kacey Musgraves’ “Follow Your Arrow” was one of laughter, given that same-sex romances and marijuana use are far from taboo in 2013, Wednesday’s CMA Awards broadcast likely provided a rude awakening.

Musgraves’ unique, candid songwriting style was enough to earn her several key award nominations, but when it came time for her anticipated performance, ABC followed the arrow to the censorship button.

Following in the footsteps of some country radio station, the CMA Awards broadcaster muted the line “roll up a joint…or don’t” each time it came up during the “Follow Your Arrow” chorus.

Proving that its concern was more about a tolerant approach to drug use than the concept itself, ABC did not censor the line “If you lose too much [weight] then you’re on crack” from the first verse. It also left the line “kiss lots of boys, or kiss lots of girls…if that’s something you’re into,” the country song’s much-discussed allusion to same-sex love, intact.

Tied with Taylor Swift for a ceremony-best six CMA Award nominations, Musgraves’ sole victory came in the Best New Artist category. Not following the public relations protocol of showing excitement over her losses, Musgraves drew social media attention for looking visibly upset when Miranda Lambert beat her for the Best Female Vocalist prize.

Written by Brian Cantor

Brian Cantor is the editor-in-chief for Headline Planet. He has been a leading reporter in the music, movie, television and sporting spaces since 2002.

Brian's reporting has been cited by major websites like BuzzFeed, Billboard, the New Yorker and The Fader -- and shared by celebrities like Taylor Swift, Justin Bieber and Nicki Minaj.

Contact Brian at brian.cantor[at]


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