Morgan Wallen returns to stage at Kid Rock's Nashville bar after racial slur controversy

Morgan Wallen surprised a crowd at Kid Rock's honky tonk with a performance Wednesday night — his first since being embroiled in controversy after using a racial slur.

Videos across social media showed a crowd at the Nashville honky tonk cheering and singing along with Wallen as he performed "Wasted on You." Kid Rock also made an appearance.

Daniel Kensy and his fiancee, Tina Sweger, were nearby when they heard the commotion around Kid Rock's.

"We decided to run over and there was Kid on stage singing 'Picture,'" Kensy said. "We just happened to be in the right place at the right time."

Morgan Wallen surprised a crowd at Kid Rock's honky tonk in downtown Nashville on Wednesday night.
Morgan Wallen surprised a crowd at Kid Rock's honky tonk in downtown Nashville on Wednesday night.

He said the band on stage welcomed a special guest after that as the crowd began to chant "Morgan! Morgan!" Wallen sang "Whiskey Glasses" and followed it up with "Wasted on You," Kensy said.

"Everyone was just floored," Kensy said. "Morgan really wanted to be playing his music for the people. Definitely could sense it ... the overall feeling was tremendous."

Wallen sparks controversy after using racial slur

Last month, Wallen said he would not be performing this summer in the wake of using a racial slur in a video that surfaced in February. The singer was dropped from his recording contract and from country radio airwaves after the incident.

A video shows Morgan, then 27, being dropped off at a house and telling a friend to "take care of this...(slur)," apparently referring to another person in the group.

"I’m embarrassed and sorry," Wallen said in a statement in February after the video was posted by TMZ. "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.”

He made a Twitter post with a letter explaining his hiatus from performing last month.

"I found this time away to be very valuable to me in many ways, but I feel like I need a little more of it, and therefore will not be performing tour dates this summer," Wallen said in the handwritten letter.

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Wallen canceled plans to open for Luke Bryan's Proud To Be Right Here tour. The tour was originally scheduled for summer 2020 and pushed back due to the coronavirus pandemic. Wallen also stepped back from the lineup for several country music festivals.

In the letter, the singer said he's working to improve but also "very proud of who I am and the man I am becoming."

As of Thursday morning, Wallen had not posted about his performance at Kid Rock's on his social media and did not immediately reply for comment.

Wallen has popped up at the popular bar to play with the house band in the past. He was also arrested after he was kicked out of the honky tonk in May 2020. He was charged with public intoxication and disorderly conduct. Police said Wallen was ejected from the bar for "kicking glass items." On the street, police said he got into verbal fights with passersby while officers watched.

This article originally appeared on Nashville Tennessean: Morgan Wallen performs at Kid Rock's bar after controversy