Country Singer Defends HGTV’s Erin Napier After Fans Bash CMA Awards Appearance

Ben and Erin Napier

Getty Ben and Erin Napier present the Male Vocalist of the Year Award at the CMAs on November 9, 2022

The reaction to Erin Napier’s first-ever red carpet look at the 56th CMA Awards on November 9, 2022, has been overwhelmingly positive, with HGTV fans gushing over the designer dress that actress Drew Barrymore helped her procure for the show. But there have been enough naysayers on social media critiquing her look that another famous friend has stepped in to clap back at them.

Erin Napier Says She Felt ‘So Lovely & Fancy’ in Designer Dress

Erin and her husband Ben, who co-host HGTV’s hit show “Home Town,” had less than two weeks’ notice that they’d be presenting at the CMAs in Nashville. So she texted Barrymore, one of her longtime style icons, who’s become a friend since the Napiers appeared on her show in December 2021. The design house Marchesa was able to get the textured, floral dress with flounce sleeves to her in time for her red carpet debut.

Erin beamed in photos taken before the show and onstage as she and Ben presented the Male Vocalist of the Year Award. That moment became even more meaningful for them because their friend Chris Stapleton won it for the sixth time, setting the record for the most wins in that category.

In an Instagram reel Erin posted on November 10 with behind-the-scenes photos and video, she wrote about how much their friendship with Stapleton and his wife, Morgane, has meant to them.

“Becoming friends with @chrisstapleton and @morganestapleton and their family in 2018 was a godsend when we were navigating our new careers on the public stage and they became like family for us: mentors and guides in this strange world we’ve found ourselves. It was such an honor to present Chris the award that made him the winningest male vocalist in CMA history last night.”

As for her designer dress, Erin wrote, “I’ve never felt so lovely and fancy and outside my norm. It helped me feel like belonged when I was so nervous.”

Her sister-in-law, Lauren Napier, commented on the post, “I expect to see this dress worn at thanksgiving, Christmas, pancake day, when you visit me in the hospital after I have this baby, really all the time. You looked beautiful!”

Morgane Stapleton Claps Back at Fans’ Complaints About Erin Napier’s Red Carpet Look

While thousands of fans offered glowing reviews on social media of Erin’s look, there were also plenty who complained about her wardrobe choice. The main point of contention seemed to be that the Laurel, Mississippi, native showed some cleavage with the gown’s low-cut front.

On the Heavy on HGTV Facebook page, a “Home Town” fan wrote, “I am disappointed!! Erin has always been so wholesome! I hope they will be careful on their decisions!”

Another commented, “The dress for Erin was beautiful, but I was shocked she wore something that low cut. Especially due to their faith, but then again there were other revealing dresses there.”

“Was the low cut necessary?” another person asked. “Very disappointing. It was like she fell into the Entertainment Trap.”

Fans made similar critiques on Erin and Ben’s social media posts about the night. While some “liked” the negative comments, many others clapped back — including Morgane Stapleton, who is famous in her own right as a country singer-songwriter and her husband’s performance partner on stage.

She noticed that on one of Ben’s posts about the night, someone wrote, “we like Erin her casual clothes. Why do women wear low cut dresses?”

Morgane clapped back, writing, “because we feel like it and it makes us feel pretty and maybe, even a little sexy! I’m so glad you asked so I could clue you in! Now you know.”

Meanwhile, Drew Barrymore shared an article about the dress in her Instagram Stories, writing “I love you, @erinnapier!” Erin shared it via her own Stories and wrote, “I love you more, @drewbarrymore!”