Morgan Wallen joined fellow country artist Luke Bryan on stage during his concert on Friday evening at the Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Tennessee.
During his first major appearance since entering rehab for 30 days following his alcohol-fueled racial slur scandal, the 28-year-old singer appeared to be back to his old ways as he did shots on stage.
In a July 23 Good Morning America interview the Heartless singer addressed the video of him using the N-word after a night of partying, and said it was meant to be ‘playful’ before calling himself ‘ignorant.’
Surprise! The embattled country artist made a cameo on stage during a Luke Bryan show on Friday and sung hits before doing celebratory tequila shots, just months after entering rehab for alcohol following his racial slur scandal
Wallen joined Bryan, Jason Aldean and Tyler Hubbard of Florida Georgia Line on stage in a surprise cameo to sing some of his greatest hits and take celebratory tequila shots.
Bryan introduced him as he addressed the crowd: ‘A really good friend of mine is here backstage tonight. I don’t know if you know this…Do I need another tequila shot to get through this?’
His statements prompted Wallen to come out, upon which he was greeted by overwhelming cheers, and he kicked off his surprise set with his song More Than My Hometown.
‘This is a song about staying true to yourself. That’s been a really hard thing for me to do lately,’ he told the crowd.
Cameo: The 28-year-old singer made a cameo during Bryan’s show at the Bridgestone Arena in Nashville on Friday evening and drew cheers
And afterwards he performed another hit, Whiskey Glasses, before remaining on stage as Aldean then sang She’s Country.
‘Thank you @lukebryan for having me out last night brother. 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,’ Wallen wrote via an Instagram post.
Despite vowing to his fans that they would do it again ‘soon,’ in the wake of his racial slur scandal back in February his record label, Big Loud Records, ‘indefinitely suspended’ his contract and his agency WME dropped him.
‘In the wake of recent events, Big Loud Records, has made the decision to suspend Morgan Wallen’s recording contract indefinitely. Republic Records fully supports Big Loud’s decision and agrees such behavior will not be tolerated,’ the label’s statement read.
Warm welcome! ‘Thank you Nashville for welcoming me so warmly. And to the rest of my fans, we will recreate this soon,’ Wallen wrote via an Instagram post
In the wake of scandal: It was his first major appearance since he entered rehab for 30 days after he was captured hurling the N-word following a 72 hour bender back in February
And in an April issued handwritten apology Morgan had vowed that he would not be ‘performing tour dates this summer’ or ‘the Luke Bryan tour dates,’ as well as festivals.
Wallen was caught on camera by a neighbor — in footage obtained by TMZ — hurling the N-word as he dubbed his friend a ‘p***y a** n***a’, which he said in his GMA interview was on ‘hour 72 of a 72-hour bender.’
‘I had some of my longtime friends in town, you know, we had kinda just been partying all weekend and we figured we’d just go hard for the two or three days that they were there,’ he recounted to Michael Strahan.
He continued to say that saying the racial slur ‘didn’t just happen,’ but he was around friends and they ‘say dumb stuff together.’
‘In our minds it was just playful. That sounds ignorant but that’s really where it came from. It was wrong.’
Bender: Wallen was caught on camera in footage obtained by TMZ hurling the N-word and other obscenities, which he said in his GMA interview was on ‘hour 72 of a 72-hour bender’
‘Dumb stuff’: He continued to say that he used the N-word (to his drunk friend who is white) in a ‘playful’ manner because they frequently ‘say dumb stuff together’
He also spoke candidly about going to rehab following the incident despite his tequila indulgence on stage.
‘For 30 days, I spent some time out in San Diego, California — you know, just trying to figure it out …’why am I acting this way? Do I have an alcohol problem? Do I have a deeper issue?”
The Sneedville born singer also said that as his album sales spiked amid the scandal, he and his team decided to donate the amount— which was ‘around $500,000’ — to Black organizations including the Black Music Action Coalition.
After the footage surfaced back in February Wallen had issued an apology, in which he said he was ’embarrassed and sorry,’ and called the racial slur ‘inappropriate’ and ‘unacceptable,’ vowing: ‘I wish I could take it back’ and that he would ‘do better.’
In April — presumably post rehab — he also issued a handwritten apology via Instagram.
Excerpt: In April he issued a handwritten apology; excerpt pictured above