In the video from the show, Aldean said, "I love my country, I love my family, and I will do anything to protect that." They began to chant "USA!" before he addressed cancel culture.
"In this day and age cancel culture is a thing. It’s something where if people don’t like what you say, they try and make sure they can cancel you, which means try to ruin your life, ruin everything,” he said. "One thing I saw this week was a bunch of country music fans that can see through a lot of the bulls**t, alright? I saw country music fans rally like I've never seen before, and that was pretty badass to watch. I gotta say, Thank you guys so much.”
Aldean told the crowd that he had people ask him if he would play the controversial song. He said, "People that come to my shows, you guys know what I'm about. You know what I stand for, I have never shied away from that at all." He continued, "And I know a lot of you guys grew up like I did, you kinda have the same values, the same principles that I have."
"Which is, we just want to take our kids to a movie and not have to worry about some a**hole coming in there and shooting up the theater," Aldean concluded before launching into the controversial song.
Country artist Cody Johnson came out in defense of Aldean at his show on Friday night as well. He told Aldean to "keep it up, brother. You do you" before telling the crowd "If being patriotic makes you an outlaw, then by God, I'll be an outlaw."
Earlier this week CMT (Country Music Television) decided to ban the music video after left-wing activists claimed that the song was a "racist and violent song."
Aldean made a statement on Twitter calling the accusations "Meritless" and "Dangerous." He noted, "There is not a single lyric in the song that references race or points to it- and there isn’t a single video clip that isn’t real news footage -and while I can try and respect others to have their own interpretation of a song with music- this one goes too far."
Aldeane said the song "refers to the feeling of a community that I had growing up, where we took care of our neighbors, regardless of differences of background or belief." He continued, "Because they were our neighbors, and that was above any differences. My political views have never been something I’ve hidden from, and I know that a lot of us in this Country don’t agree on how we get back to a sense of normalcy where we go at least a day without a headline that keeps us up at night. But the desire for it to- that’s what this song is about."
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