Morgan Wallen has returned to the stage for the first time since he raised controversy by using a racist term in a video that went viral. The 28-year-old country singer surprised fans at Kid Rock's bar in downtown Nashville by taking the stage to perform a surprise two-song set on Wednesday night (May 19).

Wallen kept it low-key for the informal appearance, clad in a white shirt, white shorts and white tennis shoes as he offered up versions of "Whiskey Glasses" and "Wasted on You," performing first with an acoustic guitar and then with the house band. Pictures and video that onlookers posted to social media show Wallen getting an ecstatic response from the fans in attendance, who sang along enthusiastically:

Nashville's Tennessean newspaper reports that Kid Rock also made a surprise appearance on Wednesday night, singing his hit duet with Sheryl Crow, "Picture," along with a fan from the crowd.

The informal performance is Wallen's first public appearance since TMZ posted a video of him using the N-word in February. In response to that incident, Wallen was suspended by his record label and dropped by his booking agent, and a number of radio stations and streaming platforms dropped his music. His core fans have stuck by him, however, making his January release, Dangerous: The Double Album, one of the runaway success stories of the year in country music through sheer sales.

Wallen apologized after the video's release and stepped out of the spotlight to better himself, and he's only rarely posted to social media since. He was originally slated to take part in Luke Bryan's 2021 Proud to Be Right Here Tour, but revealed in April that he will not tour this summer.

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