Country music's Luke Bryan slugs man who gave him the finger during concert, keeps singing

Luke Bryan performs "Move" at the 50th annual CMA Awards at the Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Tenn. (Photo by Charles Sykes/Invision/AP, File)

Charlie Daniels turned 80 on Wednesday, and in appropriate fashion, threw the 80th Birthday Volunteer Jam, a star-studded country-music concert in Nashville's Bridgestone Arena. Part of the concert's proceeds - $245,000 in total, the Tennessean newspaper reported - went to the Journey Home Project, a nonprofit organization co-founded by Daniels that helps veterans of the armed forces.

More than 15,700 fans attended the show. For one of them, the night packed a mighty wallop.

One of the evening's performers was country star Luke Bryan, who took the stage in jeans and a plaid pearl-snap shirt. As he was performing his single "Move," a fan did something very un-fan-like: He raised his middle finger at the star, who was dancing at the edge of the stage.

In between singing two lines from one of the song's verses, Bryan yelled, "Come on" at the fan, who inched a little closer.

As he did, Bryan stretched off the stage and took a swing at the man with his right hand, which was holding the microphone.

His hand connected with the man's face, crack.

The man stumbled back, as Bryan sauntered away, seamlessly continuing to perform his song. He never missed a beat.

Meanwhile, fan videos show those around the man erupting in laughter, if not a little shock.

Security then removed the unruly fan.

Although it seems as if every celebrity is apologizing for something in 2016, Bryan clearly did not feel the need. His press team released a statement, obtained by Billboard, after the incident.

In it, Bryan said the man's crude hand gesture was insulting to the men, women and children - including the veterans - who were at the show. It's about as far from an apology as it could be.

His statement, in full:

"A man in (the) front row was making crude hand gestures toward Luke during his performance. It was insulting not only to him, but more importantly to the men, women and families sitting around him who were there to support and celebrate Charlie Daniels and the efforts of raising money for the military veterans - some of who were in the audience. The concert security personnel saw the man's disruptive actions of the event and he was escorted out."


(c) 2016, The Washington Post · Travis M. Andrews



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