Zac Brown gets emotional explaining decision to let go of crew members

The musician says he had to lay off about 90% of his crew after the Zac Brown Band was forced to postpone spring tour dates because of coronavirus concerns.

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/ Source: TODAY
By Gina Vivinetto

Zac Brown is sharing an emotional video about why he's had to let go of nearly all of his band's crew members.

"It was a hard day today," the Atlanta-based musician, 41, says in a video he shared Wednesday to Instagram. Brown struggles to hold back tears as he explains that he was forced to lay off about 90% of the Zac Brown Band's longtime crew after the coronavirus caused the band to postpone its spring tour dates.

Brown calls the crew members “my family, the people that I traveled with and grew my business with, the people I high-five on the way out to the stage, the people who have done all their jobs, and done them well."

"I hate having to make this call, but I can't generate out there and I can't tour because of the coronavirus," he says.

The Zac Brown Band was forced to lay off about 90% of its longtime crew after the coronavirus caused the band to postpone its spring tour dates.Aaron J. Thornton / Getty Images

The "My Old Man" singer also shares a pointed "message" to people who aren't taking the coronavirus seriously, "the people who are out partying and the people that are sitting out on beaches and the people that don’t care if they get this virus or bring it home to their grandparents.”

"The longer that America doesn’t take this seriously, and doesn’t stay in and try to contain this, the longer that everyone's going to be out of jobs, the longer that we're going to be pushed into this recession that we’re all about to enter into," he says.

"The sickness has just begun here. It's just started to rear its head," he says. "You need to wake up, you need to stay indoors and try to socially distance yourselves."

Though Brown says he is "ashamed" of how "leadership" in the U.S. responded to the threat of the coronavirus, he ends his video on a positive note, assuring fans that the country would eventually "heal" if everyone looked out for one another.

"We have to look out for the future of all of our jobs and for the economy and for each other," he says.

The Zac Brown Band tweeted on March 10 that it was postponing the spring leg of its "The Owl Tour" "out of caution and due to increasing public health concerns."

The band is still scheduled to perform on a summer tour beginning in May.