Criticism Won’t Keep Morgan Wallen From Performing ‘Cover Me Up’
A debate over Morgan Wallen's cover of Jason Isbell's "Cover Me Up" appeared to rage on Twitter last week, and before he sang the song in Nashville on Friday night (Dec. 13), Wallen emphatically let fans know how he feels about it.
"It’s a song as long as I’m able to sing, I’m gonna sing it," Wallen, who was opening for Luke Combs, said.
"Hate me all you want. I really don’t give a s--t."
The Bridgestone Arena crowd sang it back to him, and the song was his penultimate selection to wrap his show. In the last 12 months it's become the song fans have paid to see him sing, however — something a quick search on Twitter makes clear.
Context is important to appreciate Wallen's remarks. As he does every time he performs "Cover Me Up," the 26-year-old gave credit to the song's original singer and songwriter, praising him as one Nashville's best.
Since bringing his version to the mainstream during the Taste of Country RISERS video shoot last fall, Wallen has remained consistently gracious and professional about it all, and for his part, Isbell has too:
In fact, that's one of several tweets Isbell has written since January that's either directly or indirectly giving Wallen a virtual thumbs up while also speaking of (and to) fans that are still angry about it.
Here are a few more:
So, where's the hate and who's bringing it? There's certainly been a lot of conversation about the two versions of "Cover Me Up" (and to a lesser extent, Jake Hoot's cover on NBC's The Voice), with most people showing a strong preference for one version over the other, and most people expressing as much.
It's actually a tiny minority screaming outrage that Wallen would dare cover such a personal song (search and scroll on Twitter, you'll see what we mean), but on social media those voices get amplified by the equally passionate response. This is about the harshest tweet Taste of Country could find in 15 minutes of searching:
It;'s not nice, but it's hardly a pearl-clutcher. Still, some will never see the good in one artist tributing another with a personal cover, so we have a suggestion:
Wallen and Isbell should find a way to sing the song together one night. It doesn't have to be on New Year's Even in Nashville when Isbell plays Music City Midnight. Any tour stop will do — just be sure to tweet about so fans behind enemy lines know to put down their weapons and start hugging one another. This powerful song — one of the best of the decade — can unite as effectively as it seems to be dividing.
WATCH: Morgan Wallen's RISERS Cover of "Cover Me Up":
Check Out the Top 10 Country Songs of 2019: