Luke Bryan may finally be able to move on after apologizing to the Jennings family for his controversial comments about outlaw country artists.
Last week, Bryan was quoted in an interview with HitsDailyDouble where he discussed the evolution of country music and what draws him into making the kind of music that has repeatedly landed him on the top of the charts.
“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,” Bryan said. “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.”
The comments quickly sparked outrage from fans and critics alike. One of the most angry responses came from Waylon Jennings‘ daughter-in-law, who responded to his comments with an open letter to Bryan on her Facebook, and a video on YouTube.
“I hope your family members are proud of you for using your worldwide platform to take the time to disrespect my father-in-law,” she said. “You have managed to prove to the world your true self. Albeit that Waylon’s drug use is well documented and something he overcame, I assure you, he was never ‘laying in a gutter.’”
Now, it seems like Bryan has managed to resolve this situation by personally reaching out to the Jennings family. Shooter Jennings told the Los Angeles Times on July 13 that Bryan had reached out and formally apologized to his mother, Jessi Colter.
“Luke Bryan called my mom today to clarify that he would never disrespect my dad or me or any of us,” Jennings said. “He also asked for [Waylon Jennings’ son] Buddy’s number to call Kathy. Whether or not he does, that takes a lot of guts. I misfired and said some things in the past about people, namely John Mayer. And I didn’t have the guts to apologize. So, that being said, that kinda won me over.”
Jennings says he wasn’t very affected by Bryan’s comments and understands the unfortunate situation. “While I support my family obviously, personally the whole thing didn’t make a difference to me. I’ve had my fair share of words being twisted and articles being sliced and diced. So I figured it was that.”
Although Shooter isn’t a huge Luke Bryan fan himself, he says he still respects him as an artist and his choice to step up to apologize for the debacle. “His music isn’t something I find myself listening to, but that’s not personal, I don’t listen to any new country besides a few underground acts that are a pretty far reach to even call them straight country,” Jennings said. “My point is it’s all flush in my book. He said some [stuff] and because of the Internet it came back on him. But he went above and beyond and manned up and apologized. In the long run I believe his image has improved.”