UPDATED: Two top country stars, Morgan Wallen and Florida Georgia Line’s Brian Kelley, have called out Biden supporters celebrating in the streets as “hypocritical” and used the spontaneous rallies to buttress their positions that live concerts need to resume immediately.
“Time to start booking shows,” wrote Wallen on his Instagram Story, accompanied by a photo of a celebrating crowd packed into an intersection on the streets outside the White House. “The hypocrisy is unreal.”
FGL’s Kelley posted the same photo on his Instagram Story with the message, “Time to go back to work AMERICA. Booking shows ASAP.”
On Monday morning, shortly after this story was first posted, Kelley’s partner in the Florida Georgia Line duo, Tyler Hubbard, announced on social media that he had tested positive for COVID-19. The duo’s performance on the CMA Awards Wednesday night has been canceled.
Wallen is still set to perform on the CMAs telecast on ABC Wednesday night. Another performer, Lee Brice, was announced as having to cancel his appearance because he had tested positive for COVID-19. Brice is being replaced on the show as Carly Pearce’s duet partner on “I Hope You’re Happy Now” by Lady A’s Charles Kelley.
Variety has reached out to Wallen’s and Florida Georgia Line’s spokesperson, as well as their respective record labels and the Country Music Association, for comment.
Wallen further wrote, “If you don’t agree with me, fine. We can still be friends. But I have a family, band and crew that need to be provided for and taken care of. If it’s OK for us to party in the streets with no ‘social distancing’ then we can book shows right now.”
In posting the photo of crowds in D.C., Kelley also added the message, “Knew we we were waiting on the election since March when this s— show started.” He additionally reposted a message from his wife showing a different shot of the crowds in D.C. bearing her caption, “Covid can’t get us now yayyyyyy.”
Wallen was recently subject to controversy when he was forced out of his slot as musical guest in the season opener of “Saturday Night Live” after he was filmed partying with and kissing fans after a football game the weekend before the show, while cast members observed stricter protocols.
Talking about the “SNL” brouhaha on Bobby Bones’ radio show last week, Wallen seemed penitent but said he had mixed feelings about letting people “control the way that I live my life.”
“I understand both sides of it a little bit,” Wallen told Bones last week. “I know that I got young kids that look up to me and all those kinds of things, too. I want to be mindful of things. I’m not going to let people control the way that I live my life, but I also want to be mindful. Honestly, I have a son now and I don’t know that I’d be proud to show him those videos, you know. I got to think about some things a little bit differently.”