Contact Us

Country’s Most Shocking Moments – Charlie Rich Starts a Fire at the CMAs

Charlie Rich, John Denver
Keystone / David Warner Ellis, Getty Images

At the 1975 CMA Awards, Charlie Rich set John Denver’s win — and his own career — on fire. The 1974 CMA Entertainer of the Year opened the envelope for the 1975 award, saw Denver’s name, pulled a lighter out of his pocket and set the envelope on fire before walking off the stage.

Denver had no idea what had happened, as he was only available via satellite. Rich was blacklisted from future CMA events after what his son referred to as “bad judgment.” The Silver Fox admitted to being on a mix of gin and tonics and prescription pain medicine that night. It was never made clear if he was upset by Denver winning, or the infiltration of pop acts in country music. His career was never the same.

Next Most Shocking Moment >>

Recommended For You

Around the Web

Best of Taste of Country

Leave a Comment

It appears that you already have an account created within our VIP network of sites on . To keep your personal information safe, we need to verify that it's really you. To activate your account, please confirm your password. When you have confirmed your password, you will be able to log in through Facebook on both sites.

Forgot your password?

It appears that you already have an account on this site associated with . To connect your existing account just click on the account activation button below. You will maintain your existing VIP profile. After you do this, you will be able to always log in to using your original account information.

Please fill out the information below to help us provide you a better experience.

(Forgot your password?)

Not a member? Sign up here

Sign up for Taste of Country quickly by connecting your Facebook account. It's just as secure and no password to remember!