Luke Bryan Defends Inviting Ron DeSantis Onstage During Concert

The country star and "American Idol" judge acknowledged that the Florida governor was a "very polarizing figure."

Country star Luke Bryan on Sunday defended inviting GOP Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis onstage at a concert earlier in the weekend, saying it was for a good cause.

The two shook hands and Bryan put his arm around the right-wing state leader while the two laughed ― as seen in video and photos that DeSantis shared. The governor, a potential 2024 presidential contender, also threw caps into the crowd.

Bryan, a judge on “American Idol,” got backlash from Democrats and other DeSantis critics for associating with the controversial pol. But Bryan answered back that DeSantis’ presence was in the name of raising money for Hurricane Ian victims ― not politics.

“I typically don’t respond to stuff when I’m getting run down on a social platform but here’s the deal,” Bryan wrote on Twitter. “I understand Governor DeSantis is a very polarizing figure. But I grew up in a country where if a governor (asks) you if they can come and raise awareness to help victims of a natural disaster you help.”

“I’ve generally stayed out of politics throughout my career,” continued Bryan, who had been scheduled to perform in Florida around the time the hurricane hit. “I knew people would chatter about this but for me the more important piece was If I am going to come back there a few weeks after a large portion of people have been affected by a natural disaster in a state where people have been good to me this felt right. Raise awareness, have a little fun between the GA and FL college fans before the game and do what I love on stage.”

Bryan, a Georgia native, said it would be his last comment on the matter and closed with a “#GoDawgs,” referring to the top-ranked University of Georgia Bulldogs’ victory over Florida, and their next game against No. 2 Tennessee.

“We’re gonna have some fun and we’re gonna raise some money tonight for the great state of Florida,” Bryan told fans on Friday in Jacksonville. He then introduced DeSantis to an enthusiastic response.

Bryan explained how proceeds of another concert would be distributed to hurricane victims, the Heavy reported.

DeSantis, who faces reelection on Nov. 8, boasted of the state’s ability to rebuild bridges quickly.

He’s been heavily criticized for backing the state’s “Don’t Say Gay” law, orchestrating taxpayer-funded flights of migrants from Texas to Martha’s Vineyard as a political stunt, and cracking down on voting rights.

While some applauded Bryan for his statement, others were not swayed.

Popular in the Community


What's Hot