Jennifer Nettles Admits the Haters Have a Point

Explains "Kernel of Truth" at Big Machine Showcase

Jennifer Nettles headlined the last luncheon of the last day of the Country Radio Seminar in Nashville. It’s a three-day event designed to celebrate everything country music does right.

But when she took the stage to close out the noon show on Wednesday (Feb. 10), she told the industry crowd that what’s so good about country is often what outsiders think is so bad about it.

“A lot of times people make fun of country music,” Nettles acknowledged. “They say, ‘Oh, country music is about your dog dying and your truck breaking down and your wife cheating.’ But there’s a kernel of truth to that stereotype — and I love it.

“That is what country music does better than any other genre, in my opinion. It celebrates brokenness. And it celebrates realness in a way that helps us to heal,” she added to introduce her latest solo single “Unlove You,” which she performed in addition to new own “Playing With Fire” and “Drunk in Heels” and Sugarland‘s “Baby Girl” and “Something More.”

Before Nettles took the stage, it was Justin Moore’s turn to thank the country radio bosses filling the room at the Omni.

“You guys are the outlet for all of the things we breathe and sweat and bleed into our music,” he said. And then before he played “If Heaven Wasn’t So Far Away,” Moore added, “One of the coolest things about having the opportunity to play music for a living is to be able to touch people’s lives in a positive way.”

And when Moore was ready to get a little less serious and play his latest single, “You Look Like I Need a Drink,” he told the crowd he waited a while to release new songs because he wanted his next batch to be the best music that he’d ever brought to country radio.

“I’m nine years into marriage, so hopefully I’m out of the woods. If I’d been dumped, I probably would’ve had a nice stiff drink,” he said of the new tune.

A handful of newer artists from the Big Machine family were able to each play a short set to showcase their sound. Tucker Beathard did his debut single “Rock On” along with “20-10 Tennessee,” Tara Thompson played “Vows,” “Jail” and “Someone to Take Your Place,” and Drake White performed “Makin’ Me Look Good Again” and “Livin’ the Dream.”

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