Captioning the April 28 pic with a lyric from one of Church’s song — a hook-setting 2006 tune titled “Livin’ Part Of Life” — the photo appears to show the friends dropping a line after a round of golf, and arrives less than a week after Church’s new triple album, Heart & Soul. And while it’s unclear if the pic is new, or just an oldie in support of that release, it does seem to show Wallen has a mentor willing to help him right his wrongs.
The backstory is well known by now. At the end of January, just days after the release of his Dangerous: The Double Album, Wallen was caught on camera drunkenly using a racial slur, and swiftly excommunicated from public life. He’s stayed off the radar since then — other than an apology video and a recent update — but now it seems like he’s sowing the seeds for a return. And if that’s the case, with Church helping Wallen do better, it should be celebrated, not demonized. Wallen will need people he respects to tell him the truth, and Church fits the bill.
Both stars have expressed admiration for each other in the past. Wallen frequently sites Church as one of his biggest influences, praising his authenticity and artistic tenacity. And Church has returned the compliment, previously calling Wallen “real damn good” and noting his authentic song style as well. Church even addressed Wallen’s issues in his recent cover story for Billboard, taking a cautious path of optimism.
“That was indefensible. I was heartbroken when it happened,” Church told the magazine. “I think Morgan’s trying to work on that and on himself. And I hope he does.”
Perhaps this pic is proof Church is willing to help Wallen do that work — which in many ways, is a great example to set.
Meanwhile, Morgan Wallen emerged from his exile on April 13 with a handwritten letter to fans, posted to social media as an update on his journey. Saying thank you for the record setting 10 weeks his Dangerous: The Double Album spent atop the all genre Billboard album chart, he admitted that he needs more time away, and will not perform any concert dates this summer. But Wallen also said his “story is far from over” and promised fans will see him again “sooner than later.”