— Country Music Television (@CMT) June 6, 2019
Some things suit Zac Brown and his public persona: cold beer on a Friday night, a pair of jeans that fit just right and, as we learned during the June 5 broadcast of the 2019 CMT Music Awards in Nashville, the seven second delay that helps keep profanity off live television.
After Brown and his band won the Group Video of the Year award for "Someone I Used to Know," the singer leveled a profane tirade at his "haters."
"This award is for all of you out there, my band and all the outsiders that waded through everyone's doubt," Brown said during his acceptance speech. "For all you young artists, have courage to stand up against the machine, be yourself, work hard and one day you can stand up here and tell all the haters to f*** off. "
Brown gets his fair share of criticism for blurring the lines between country, Southern rock and hip-hop, with his most recent negative press attached to the Gucci-inspired rhymes in "God Given." On the flipside of the "authenticity" debate, Brown has built a large and loyal following by refusing to stay in his lane creatively, and he's used his platform to draw more eyes and ears to fellow Georgians Blackberry Smoke and others praised for keeping it country.
The not safe for work video for "Someone I Used to Know" tells the story of a former high school football star and military veteran as he stares down trauma and depression in his hometown. The accompanying song mixes modern country with the anthemic rock of Bastille to make a very important statement about mental health: it's okay to ask for help.