And the Morgan Wallen rehabilitation tour continues! With a little help from Luke Bryan, Jason Aldean and Tyler Hubbard.
Luke headlined Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena Friday night, and in a surprise for the audience, The Voice season 6 alum appeared about halfway through his set. The American Idol judge had just welcomed unannounced guests to the stage, including Jason Aldean and Florida Georgia Line’s Tyler Hubbard.
At that point, Jason said, “a really good friend of mine is backstage,” adding, “I don’t know if you know this.”
Luke claimed that he didn’t know who was backstage (O rly?) and asked if he needed another shot of tequila to get through it.
That’s when Morgan strolled down the catwalk to loud applause from the sold-out crowd. The four men clinked plastic shot glasses and gulped back the alcohol. (Yup. Morgan went to rehab. But he is not sober).
The three men then gave Morgan the spotlight. “Hello, Nashville; how you all doing tonight?” he asked the audience. “I don’t even know what song to play. This is a song about staying true to yourself, and that’s been a really hard thing for me to do lately. But, here I am.” (Should the pity party start now or later, Morgan?)
Then he performed his No. 1 country hit “More Than My Hometown” as fans sang along. He followed up with “Whiskey Glasses,” then the four sang Jason’s 2009 hit “She’s Country” (crack open those beers, boys) before giving the stage back to Luke.
“Up next, Elvis Presley,” Luke joked. “I’ve never had more fun in my life.”
I predict by next year, Morgan will be back to touring. He’ll probably hit a few clubs up in Nashville, first, though.
Watch Morgan Wallen perform with Luke Bryan, Jason Aldean and Tyler Hubbard
The surprise appearance comes on the heels of an interview with GMA’s Michael Strahan, in which the host grilled him about what he’s learned since being caught on film drunkenly calling one of his friends the N word.
“I was around some of my friends, and we just … we say dumb stuff together,” Morgan said. “And it was — in our minds, it’s playful … that sounds ignorant, but it — that’s really where it came from … and it’s wrong.”
“I think I was just ignorant about it”
He explained to Strahan that he is “not sure” what made him feel he could use the racial slur and chalked it up to his lack of awareness. “I think I was just ignorant about it,” he said. “I don’t think I sat down and was, like, ‘Hey, is this right or is this wrong?’”
Currently Morgan is working to get his music back on the radio (succeeding!). His record label “suspended” him at first, but he’s listed on their website again. His agencies dropped him and the major award ceremonies like the Academy of Country Music Awards, CMT Awards and CMA Awards disqualified him.
Earlier, Morgan apologized, saying: “I used an unacceptable and inappropriate racial slur that I wish I could take back. There are no excuses to use this type of language, ever. I want to sincerely apologize for using the word. I promise to do better.”
His fans never abandoned him
While Morgan’s recent entreaties appear as too little too late by some, his enthusiastic reception from country music fans on Friday night, and the fact that his music remained strong on the streaming and downloading charts throughout his crisis, means his fans never abandoned him. The rehabilitation tour is about calming down sponsors and corporations. It’s just a matter of time before the money people welcome him back in.
“Thank you @lukebryan for having me out last night brother,” Wallen wrote on social media Saturday. “Sharing the stage with you, @jasonaldean and @tylerhubbard was one of those moments I will never forget. Thank you Nashville for welcoming me so warmly. And to the rest of my fans, we will recreate this soon.”