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Kellie Pickler Defends Luke Bryan’s National Anthem Performance

Ilya S. Savenok, Getty Images

Kellie Pickler and Luke Bryan were two of the singers on hand to perform at the MLB All-Star Game in Kansas City earlier this week. While Kellie received rave reviews for her rendition of “God Bless America” during the seventh inning stretch, Luke’s noticeable glance at his hands for the lyrics while he was singing the national anthem earned him plenty of criticism, which is why his friend is speaking out in defense of her fellow country star.

“Regardless of what you do, there’s always gonna be people pulling for you and there’s always going to be those people that are just mean. Luke is a really great guy,” Kellie tells “I was sitting up in the stands, so I couldn’t see, I could just hear. That’s a hard song to sing. There’s a lot of people there. A lot of times the people that are being bullies and picking at whoever, they wouldn’t be out there doing that.”

The North Carolina native believes the “Drunk on You” singer wasn’t doing anything too out of the ordinary when he stepped up to the mic for his performance. “I’ve never written the lyrics on my hands but I know that there’s teleprompters and stuff at different sporting events for people that sing the anthem,” she says. “He’s a great guy, and so what? He sung his butt off. It was all about the game and having a good time. People just need to quit being such bullies.”

Luke appeared on ABC’s “Good Morning America” today for a live performance. He was asked about the national anthem controversy and handled the question with grace.

“That stage and being in that moment was certainly one of the biggest moments in my life. I wanted to make sure I had a few notes so that it was done right,” he explained. “I can’t go serve my country … I wish I could be a [member of] the troops, but that’s the only way I can serve my country is to go out and do the anthem. My fans and everybody really supported me. If anybody was offended, I really am sorry about it.”

Watch Kellie Sing Live in Our Studio

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