Sturgill Simpson didn’t take a seat inside Bridgestone Arena in Nashville for last night’s Country Music Awards – he wasn't invited, and wasn't even sure that he submitted this year. But he stole the evening anyway, standing outside the barricades in the cold, busking and answering questions for fans on a Facebook livestream.
Most people didn't recognise Simpson, and some of that might have had to do with his inconspicuous appearance. Dressed in a black jacket, with an acoustic guitar strapped around his torso, he had two handwritten signs at his feet. One read, "Struggling country singer… Anything helps (all donations go to the ACLU). God Bless America.” The other read, "I don't take requests, but I take questions about anything you want to talk about... because fascism sucks." His Grammy Award for Best Country Album sat in his open guitar case.
Around 70,000 people watched the stream on Facebook, and the unknown man holding up camera phone asked Simpson whatever questions the audience suggested. Simpson, as good as his word, answered every question. He suggested that he might be an undercover CIA spy, professed his love for Angel Olsen and Run the Jewels, and called Donald Trump a “fascist fucking pig.”
Simpson ended up raising $13 (~£10) for the ACLU so, in his own words “it was all worth it.” May the good Lord bless and keep Sturgill Simpson.
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