Luke Bryan Explains Merle Haggard, Willie Nelson Diss After Interview Backlash
Luke Bryan took to Twitter on Friday to explain negative comments he made about Merle Haggard and Willie Nelson that prompted a fierce online backlash.
In a new interview with Hits Daily Double, Bryan was asked about the rise in songs about drinking, partying, and other non-serious subject matter, and the sound of more “party”-friendly music. The singer, one of the most popular and awarded artists in country music today, responded, “I think that people who want Merle, Willie, and Waylon just need to buy Merle, Willie and Waylon. I’ve never been a ‘Those were the good old days’ kind of guy. I’m not big on looking back on the past.”
“I’m not an outlaw country singer. I don’t do cocaine and run around. So I’m not going to sing outlaw country,” continued Bryan. “I like to hunt, fish, ride around on my farm, build a big bonfire and drink some beers — and that’s what I sing about. It’s what I know. I don’t know about laying in the gutter, strung out on drugs. I don’t really want to do that.”
Bryan’s remarks, particularly the apparent diss of some of his predecessors’ drug histories, sparked outrage on social media, where he was slammed for speaking negatively about some of country music’s biggest legends. He heard the feedback loud and clear, however, and sent out a series of tweets on Friday night in an attempt to clarify. In his explanation, though, Bryan stood by his larger point.
“Hey guys I’ve been thinking about this all day, every now and then I feel I need to defend myself in this business. I did a great interview with many topics discussed,” he began. “It’s so frustrating that something negative has spun out of the story. I would never speak against any artist.”
Bryan went on “It’s not my style. I consider Willie, Waylon and Merle musical heroes. I was trying to state what I was about and where I come from with my music. It’s simple as that.”
The messages were retweeted several hundred times, and favorited by several thousand people, some of whom continued to blast him. Tell us what you think of the controversy, and Bryan not exactly offering an apology for his comments.