Jason Aldean is weighing in on the controversy surrounding fellow country star Eric Church, who recently canceled an upcoming show so he could watch the NCAA Final Four instead.
“This is a tricky question because Eric is a friend of mine,” Aldean, 45, said in an interview with E! News’ Daily Pop.
Aldean, who collaborated with Church on the 2013 song “The Only Way I Know,” said that while he understands where his fellow artist is coming from, he doesn’t think he could have made the same decision.
“I don’t know that I could cancel a show to make it to a game,” he said. “I feel like people buying a ticket to come see your show, you kind of have to hold up your end of the deal on that.”
“I know Eric’s a huge basketball — Carolina — fan and I don’t want to dive into that too much, but I don’t think I would feel good if I did that, so I don’t know if I could pull it off,” he added.
Church, 44, announced he was canceling his April 2 show in San Antonio, Texas, in an email to fans via Ticketmaster on Tuesday.
The singer said pulling the plug on the show was the “most selfish” thing he could ask of his supporters, according to multiple screenshots of the message shared online.
“As a lifelong Carolina basketball fan, I’ve watched Carolina and Duke battle over the years but to have them matchup for the first time in the history of the NCAA Tournament is any sports enthusiast’s dream,” Church’s message reportedly said.
Concertgoers’ tickets were refunded, but some people who had already made travel and accommodation plans for the show were outraged.
“One year of waiting and got a hotel, rental and dinner reservation to try to cancel now,” one person wrote on Twitter. “Not to mention flew my parents into town to watch the kids for the weekend. I would’ve been fine if he just put the game on the jumbotron.”
“We arrived in SA yesterday and found out today that the concert was canceled,” another person wrote on Church’s official Facebook page. “Maybe the band should not schedule shows in March. Our vacation just got spoiled.”
Others took a different view of Church’s decision, with one person on Twitter calling the singer an “absolute legend” for supporting his team no matter what.
Another person on Facebook said that while people were understandably upset by the cancellation, he gets why Church made the choice he did.
“This is a historic basketball game,” the fan wrote. “Some of my most cherished childhood memories are of going to basketball games with my dad. His kids deserve that, especially with their dad being on tour most weekends. Hopefully he does something to make up for it. Lord knows he’s good for it.”