Ariana Grande Performs at CMAs & Gets an Unnecessarily Rough Response — VIDEO

Pretty much everything celebrities do opens them up to be criticized by the public. This is especially true when you are Ariana Grande and reporters (and anonymous online haters) are desperate for a story (or a tweet) about your rumored "diva behavior." Wednesday night was no exception, when many people asked the question "why is Ariana Grande at the CMA's?" Personally, I don't think Grande deserves the negative publicity, and I am here to defend her appearance.

I felt bad for Grande when Twitter exploded full of negative and confused reactions to her duet with Little Big Town. "What is Ariana Grande doing here?" "Ariana Grande is NOT country?" "Really, Ariana Grande?" OK, we get it. Meanwhile, Meghan Trainor's performance of "All About That Bass" with Miranda Lambert seemed to escape such harsh criticism. People tweeted great things about the surprise collaboration. One tweeter exclaimed, "Meghan Trainor and Miranda Lambert rock the stage at the CMA Awards." Another even posted a video of the performance saying "Love this!!!"

This Ariana Grande effect has an unfair bias and I don't like it. Yes, it might seem extremely random for her to be present at a country music event, let alone performing, but she is not the first artist to try and appeal to a new audience and she should not be so heavily ridiculed for doing so.

The Outfit

Who cares if her outfit was not the epitome of country music? She was wearing a crop top and a skirt that lit up and she looked adorable and fun. Little Big Town's outfits even matched her. Also, who can really say what the epitome of country music actually is these days? Many country stars are not just country stars anymore. They serve as reality TV show judges, collaborate with rappers, dabble in pop music, and yes, they also wear crop tops and revealing clothing. Plus, we all know that Ariana Grande would be ridiculed if she showed up in a flannel or some overalls. No matter what she wore to the country event, she would have been picked on.

The Song Choice

News flash: Ariana Grande was not trying to be a country artist. She didn't add a twang to her voice. It was just a playful collaboration with Little Big Town. "Bang Bang" has been a popular song for months and, as I see it, she was probably just trying to expand her audience. She's not becoming a country artist. Grande was taking a risk by performing outside of her usual element. If she covered a country song people would have accused her of being a poser and trying to sip the country music Kool-Aid.

The Country Music Community

"Why was Ariana Grande at the Country Music Awards?" "She is not country." Of course she's not country, and I don't think she was trying to be country. The girl was just performing a hit song and collaborating with a popular country music group. Country is becoming much more broad and collaborative, taking influences from many types of artists and genres. Nelly, a rapper, had major success last year when he collaborated with Florida Georgia Line for a "Cruise" remix. Not to mention, Nelly also performed a duet, "Over and Over," with country music legend Tim McGraw in 2004. Blake Shelton is a coach on The Voice, where he mentors young artists to sing music in many genres. Last year, T-Pain made a song with Luke Bryan, and as we all know Taylor Swift has fully transitioned from country to pop. The days of an artist being pigeonholed to one genre have come to an end — and this has actually been the case for some time. The artists of today are all about diversity and Ariana Grande should be applauded, not criticized, for trying out something new.

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