Zac Brown gets emotional in video announcing he laid off 90 percent of tour crew: 'I hate having to make this call'

The Zac Brown Band postponed their spring tour amid the coronavirus pandemic — and frontman Brown is torn up about it.

The lead vocalist for the country group got emotional in a video shared on the group’s social media pages. He talked about having to lay off 90 percent of the people involved in the tour and railed at the Trump administration as well as Americans not taking the pandemic seriously.

“It was a hard day today,” said Brown, who shed tears in the video. “For the last 15 years, my crew and who I carry with me out on the road to play my shows and do what we do, I’ve had to let go about 90 percent of my family. The people that I travel with and grew my business with. The people I high-five on the way out to the stage. The people who have done their jobs and done them well. I hate having to make this call but I can’t generate out there and can’t tour because of the coronavirus and everyone’s safety.”

And while the country star is “fine with that” as far as calling off his the Owl Tour to keep people at home and flatten the curve, he has harsh words for those ignoring the advice of the CDC, WHO and government officials by continuing to go out in groups, unconcerned about spreading it to others.

“I got this message that I want to say to the people who aren’t taking this seriously, and the people who are out partying, and the people who are sitting out on beaches, and the people who don’t care if they get this virus or bring it home to their grandparents and maybe kill their grandparents or complicate their lives,” he said. “The longer that America doesn’t take this seriously ... the longer that everyone is going to be out of jobs. The longer that we’re going to be pushed into this recession that we’re all about to enter into.”

He continued, “The sickness has just begun here. It’s just started to rear its head. So you need to wake up, you need to stay indoors and try to socially distance yourself.”

Brown also took a jab at the government — as the Trump administration has been criticized for its late response to the pandemic.

“The sooner we take action on this — and we don’t wait on our government to tell us this was a serious issue...” he said. “We’re late to the game. I’m pretty ashamed of the way that our leadership has handled all of this. I’m pretty ashamed of a lot of things. We can’t rely on our government to the the tell people what they need to do. You can read between the lines you can read all the articles of what is happening all around the world and we’re less protected than a lot of those countries because no one can tell us what to do. We have to decide for ourselves as Americans and we have to look out for the future — for all of our jobs and for the economy and for each other.”

Brown ended by saying, “I love to spread music and spread love in song and share music with the world. I’m going to do my best to do that from closed doors. But if we’re going to heal from this and we’re going to get back to doing what we were doing before this hit, then everybody’s gotta take this seriously.”

Ashton Kutcher is among those to reshare Brown’s video, writing, “Zac Brown breaks it down.”

The Zac Brown Band, like most acts, announced they would halt their tour on March 10.

In an interview in October, Brown talked about spending 22 years on the road with the eight members of his Grammy-winning band. He said they still cram together on their tour bus like a "ship full of Vikings." And their longest break from touring, prior to all this, was just 60 days.

"This is a real life," Brown told CBS News. "And it takes a lot of dedication. And it's monopolizing. You can't just go to work and come home every day. You have to be gone a lot. But you don't get the kind of chemistry any other way. You can't fake it. You have to live this life."

Brown has long been of the belief that it’s not the government who will “make America great again,” a reference to Trump’s slogan. In 2016 he told the crowd at a show, “It’s not the tippy-top that matters, it’s the people. It’s the heart of America that makes it [the best country in the world], it’s the people. Don’t ever forget that.”

Though he has respect for the office, paying a visit to the White House in 2018.

For the latest news on the evolving coronavirus outbreak, follow along here. According to experts, people over 60 and those who are immunocompromised continue to be the most at risk. If you have questions, please reference the CDC and WHO’s resource guides.

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