Country music singer Aaron Lewis, who’s also known for having been the frontman of the rock band Staind, performed but didn’t finish a show Saturday in Pharr, Texas.
Video footage shows Lewis playing for a noisy crowd in the border town and asking them to quiet down between songs. Then someone in the audience suggested Lewis ask for quiet in Spanish.
“I’m sorry,” Lewis said at about 1:44 of the clip reposted by the local McAllen, Texas-based newspaper the Monitor. “I don’t know how to speak Spanish. I’m American.”
The noise only increased after that. As the San Antonio Express-News pointed out, his comments didn’t sit well in a city where 94 percent of people identify as Hispanic or Latino.
That’s when Lewis left the stage with a curt “Thank you very much; have a great night” — and the boos grew even stronger.
Lewis later shared a photo of himself with a Border Patrol agent, thanking him for his service, but he didn’t address the shortened show.
The musician has been vocal about his political beliefs in the past, supporting Texas Sen. Ted Cruz and noting that he would have been willing to perform at President Trump’s inauguration.
His latest comments ignited anger on social media.
Aaron Lewis comes down to south texas “the valley” and because of a few bad fans but has the nerve to say to “I don’t speak spanish I’m AMERICAN” wow were not MEXICO just so you know WE ARE AMERICAN TOO ASSHOLE! Lost a fan smh @Aaronlewismusic
— JerriBomb (@JerriBomb) February 3, 2019
Aaron Lewis really said “I don’t speak Spanish, I’m American” IN A CITY THATS PRIMARILY MEXICAN AMERICAN!?! Then proceeded to leave the stage shortly after?????!!!?
— sɐpnɾ ɟo ɹǝɥʇoɯ (@gothrissa) February 3, 2019
Weird that Aaron Lewis walked out on a show in Pharr, Tx, seeing how that’s one of the few places where people will still come out en masse to see Staind.
— Maggie Maye by day, Trilly Wonka by later that day (@Maggiemayehaha) February 3, 2019
Lewis is scheduled to continue touring around the country most of 2019, returning to Texas territory in April, when he plays in Odessa. The last scheduled date on his website is on Aug. 17, in Bossier City, La. He’s scheduled to play everywhere from Charleston, S.C., to Madison, Wis., and Atlantic City, N.J., in between.
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