Little Big Town Says “It’s Time”

"Girl Crush" Will Outlive Its Controversy

A win for Little Big Town isn’t just a win for the band. It’s a win for country music.

That was the gist of the group’s heartfelt gratitude when they came backstage to talk to reporters after winning single and song of the year for their “Girl Crush” ballad.

Jon Kopaloff/FilmMagic

Because according to the band’s Karen Fairchild, that song is the kind that artists are always hoping will get noticed.

“We all love singing ‘Pontoon’ and ‘Day Drinking,’ but then we all want to get to the heart and the substance on our records,” she said of the tune. “I think country music is in the best place right now. So tonight, it speaks volumes. I think the tide is turning. It’s time.”

As for the song’s crossover appeal, Fairchild admitted that Little Big Town had heard from Boy George, which was a first. “It’s brought us to places we could only dream of,” she said.

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There was also talk of the initial misunderstanding of the song. It is not, in fact, about a girl crushing on a girl. And the band’s Jimi Westbrook explained how he looked at that quick bit of controversy.

“That was short lived, and then the positive voices started speaking out. And they became louder than the negative ones,” he said. “Social media gives a voice to the whole anonymity behind a screen name, and people take advantage of that.”

His advice? “If we love something,” Westbrook said, “we need to speak out about those things.”

Alison makes her living loving country music. She's based in Chicago, but she's always leaving her heart in Nashville.