After Faith Hill and her management reps tried their best attempt at damage control after Monday night's Carrie Underwood incident, Faith's friend Leann Rimes has opened back up a can of worms that may have closed quickly on its own. Directly after the CMA broadcast, blogs and message boards were abuzz with outrage and shock over the way Faith, normally a down to earth, friendly woman, handled losing to American Idol alumnus Carrie Underwood.
Hill's management quickly released this statement once USA Today picked up the story, "I've worked with Faith for many years now and the idea that she would ever insult or undermine another artist, let alone another human being's success, is absolutely preposterous. Those who know her know that she's incapable of such actions. She was being playful while the nominations were being read and playful after."
After the story was picked up by even more media outlets, and the video made its way all across the internet, I guess they decided it was important Faith actually release a statement herself. "The idea that I would act disrespectful towards a fellow musician is unimaginable to me," Hill said in a statement. "For this to become a focus of attention given the talent gathered is utterly ridiculous. Carrie is a talented and deserving Female Vocalist of The Year."
Jesse Schmidt, Underwood's publicist said the two of them spoke after the show and they were fine. Of course, I doubt directly after the show Carrie knew anything of Faith's reaction to her win. There are currently 14 different videos of the now infamous "Faith Hill Freak-Out" on YouTube, with a combined viewership of nearly 3 million. Even if Faith was joking, you have to admit it was a pretty stupid move on her part. With her big voice fading as fast as her sales, Faith now comes across as a bitter woman jealous of the young prolific starlet.
What makes this story still noteworthy however, is a third blonde country belter that's been thrown into the mix – Leann Rimes. Known for her big pop-country hits back in the '90s including a cover of Trisha Yearwood's How Do I Live, Rimes has apparently been a longtime friend of Hill, and came to her defense today.
Thinking she would somehow help out her friend, she posted this message to her official website, "Okay, I usually keep quiet on topics like this but I feel I need to stand up for my friend, Faith. She was just being honest and emotional like every other person sitting at home with an opinion. These awards shows are SO political and we all get fed up with them. We all work very hard and have for many years so to see someone come in and win Female Vocalist that has been here for a VERY short time, is a little disheartening."
She went on to say, "That is why we have the Horizon award and Carrie had an incredible year, enough to sweep that one. I don't think Faith was angry about her loss, she probably felt, as I did that Carrie has not paid her dues long enough to fully deserve that award. As artists and public figures, we have to keep our feelings so repressed so we don't get called ungrateful as Faith has on this board many times now. She is a very sweet and gracious woman, whom I adore. Please cut her some slack!"
She then obviously realized that would start the ball rolling again with the Faith bashing and retracted the posting, replacing it with this, "This post is going to become more controversial than it needs to be. I have enjoyed talking with you about our opinions but feel that this already is blown way out of proportion. I stand by Faith as my fellow artist and friend as an honest mistake was magnified. I also, as you know from previous post, respect Carrie and wish her well!"
Since then, Hill's management team has contacted Leann and any mention of the CMA incident has been erased.
I've been a fan of Leann for quite a long time. She's got a beautiful voice, and her music gets better with each and every album that she puts out. Her This Woman album is in heavy rotation on my iPod all the time, and nothing she says could make me stop appreciating her music. But after those comments my respect for her has dropped to near zero.
It's quite obvious she's jealous of Carrie and is using her as well as her friend Faith for some much needed attention. What's pathetic is that she would risk more damage to her friend's image so that she can try to reclaim her short lived 15 minutes of fame. But of course, that's what happens when your lastest US album sells a little over 600,000 copies – not even a fourth of what Carrie's Some Hearts has sold.
And what dues exactly does Carrie need to pay? Everyone gets a record deal a different way, she just happened to get hers handed to her by America rather than some stiff tie behind a desk with a pen. I need not mention that on her worst day Carrie could sing circles around Rimes and on her best day even Hill. And don't give me any bull about her not being a credible artist because she won a talent contest as I'm sure she's not the only artist around today that has garnered some influential person's attention because they won some kind of contest, pageant, or performed live in the right place at the right time. Hell, even Frank Sinatra got his start from a talent contest so let's not go there.
I'm wondering though, if Rimes and Hill are as good friends as she makes them out to be – how truthful Hill's reaction really was to the CMA award announcement. There's a saying that 90% of what you say when you're joking is the truth. And it seems Leann is almost speaking for herself and Hill in her posting.
Will this whole incident blow over? Or will this moment unfortunately live on for Faith in infamy? What is true, is that this "feud" between Faith Hill and Carrie Underwood will follow them for the rest of their careers – if even just because of perpetuation by the media. Finally Country music gets some diva scandal! Get ready for a rematch though. Hill and Underwood are up against each other again in January when they compete at the People's Choice Awards.