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Little Big Town makes a powerful statement at the BBMAs (VIDEO)

Julie Sprankles is a freelance writer living in the storied city of Charleston, SC. When she isn't slinging sass for SheKnows, she enjoys watching campy SyFy creature features (Pirahnaconda, anyone?), trolling the internet for dance work...

Little Big Town gives the proverbial middle finger to critics with BBMAs performance

Mere months ago, country group Little Big Town was mired in controversy and battling for airplay over their ballad, "Girl Crush." So when the foursome took the stage at the Billboard Music Awards to sing the provocative song with a very special guest, we can only imagine it felt pretty damn good.

When the band dropped "Girl Crush" earlier this year, they couldn't believe the beautifully written — albeit edgy for country radio — track would put them on the receiving end of such close-minded backlash.

And, subsequently, in a stalemate with country radio over climbing the charts with the critically applauded single from their Pain Killer album.

Yes, the song's lyrics reference a same-sex connection: "I want to taste her lips, yeah 'cause they taste like you/I want to drown myself in a bottle of her perfume/I want her long blond hair, I want her magic touch/Yeah 'cause maybe then, you'd want me just as much... I got a girl crush."

Nevermind that those lyrics are clearly about a woman's desire for a man being so strong that she covets his lover just to be closer to him. Who can be bothered with the intended meaning of the lyrics when you can fly into a bigotous rage after misinterpreting them instead?

When country radio stations dared to play the witty track, listeners called in accusing the band of "promoting the gay agenda." They complained about it being broadcast during the morning commute for fear their kids might hear it. They threatened to boycott stations brave enough to support it.

In short, they behaved like nutballs. (Yes, I said nutballs. I fear there is no better descriptor here.)

Although many stations and listeners living in the current century rallied around the band and the song, several smaller stations ultimately removed "Girl Crush" from regular rotation. Boooo, right?

"Just the fact that we're still discussing that, number one, there's so many problems with that whole issue," vocalist Karen Fairchild told syndicated radio host Bobby Bones.

Tonight, though, the group laid to rest any residual reservedness they may ever have had about the quote-unquote controversial song by taking it front and center for the 2015 Billboard Music Awards.

And to drive home the message that they are proud of "Girl Crush" and country music should be, too, they enlisted the help of one of country music's most iconic girl crushes: Faith Hill.

It's no surprise, really, that the entire world is now totally crushing on Little Big Town — and rightfully so.

As for the critics? Who really cares! Little Big Town pulled a ballsy move tonight and, in doing so, made supporters out of a whole lotta listeners. Including Empire's Taraji P. Henson...

Little Big Town gives the proverbial middle finger to critics with BBMAs performance

Image: Imgur/YouTube

And one very excited Taylor Swift, mind you.

Little Big Town gives the proverbial middle finger to critics with BBMAs performance

Image: Imgur/YouTube

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Little Big Town gives the proverbial middle finger to critics with BBMAs performance

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