Country artists rarely speak up on controversial issues, so when several spoke out against restrictive CMA media guidelines released last week, it was a surprise. Singer Cam explains why she felt it necessary to say something.

The short story is that the Country Music Association's media department told outlets booked to cover the red carpet not to ask artists about guns, politics or the Las Vegas shootings. Co-host Brad Paisley quickly tweeted disgust, and within hours the policy had been reversed. Cam retweeted Paisley's remarks.

"I was so glad Brad said something," she tells Taste of Country prior to the 2017 CMA Awards. "You can't censor people and you can't intimidate people into not speaking about Las Vegas or politics or gun control. I know people ... they don't always agree on everything, but that's what's great is we get to talk about these things with each other."

Cam will be co-hosting Taste of Country's red carpet live stream on Wednesday (Oct. 8 starting at 5PM CT), so to some extent she was fighting for her own rights. But that's not why she chose to speak out.

"This isn't like another genre where people are out to get each other," she says, referring to the media. "People are very respectful. So it was kind of insult to injury a little bit to have it be — it's like, country music is gonna take care of each other."

The "Diane" singer added that she was proud of how quickly the CMA team responded to the controversy and now looks forward to interviewing nominees and performers prior to the 2017 CMA Awards. The actual CMA Awards start at 8PM ET on ABC.

Remember: The best way to watch the CMAs is on TV, with ToC on your phone!

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