Merle Haggard's Ben defends Luke Bryan over outlaw country comments

Country star picks up ACM's Entertainer of the Year award


Luke Bryan has been busy making amends with everyone he might have offended with his recent comments about outlaw country.

The star inadvertently caused a huge fuss when he said in an interview, "I'm not an outlaw country singer," adding, "I don't do cocaine and run around. So I'm not going to sing outlaw country."

"I think that people who want Merle, Willie and Waylon just need to buy Merle, Willie and Waylon," Bryan said.

Those comments went viral, and though Bryan clarified his intent in a series of tweets, the story only got hotter after Kathy Pinkerman who is married to Waylon Jennings' son Buddy directed an angry online rant at Bryan, calling him a "platinum, disrespecting, no singing, whining, grasping for media attention, a--hole."

Jennings’ other son, Shooter, revealed that Bryan had called his mother, Jessi Colter, to apologize, adding that it was water under the bridge as far as he was concerned. “I've had my fair share of words being twisted and articles being sliced and diced,” Shooter said, “So I figured it was that. 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.”

But Bryan wasn’t done yet. He placed another call to Ben Haggard, who is Merle Haggard's son and guitar player. Haggard was also impressed by Bryan’s effort, writing on Instagram:

A photo posted by Ben Haggard (@benhaggard) on

It’s unclear whether Bryan has reached out directly to Merle Haggard. Neither he nor Willie Nelson have commented publicly on the matter.

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