Chase Rice is once again facing backlash for a COVID-19-related reason. The drama began when, in an effort to promote his new song, “Drinkin’ Beer. Talkin’ God. Amen,” the 35-year-old country singer tweeted about experiencing symptoms of the coronavirus.
“Just lost my taste and smell. Weird,” he wrote of one of the known symptoms of COVID-19. “Also, dropping a single at midnight.”
In a follow-up tweet, Rice wrote, “On a real note. Don’t have COVID. But I’m dropping a single tonight.”
The single, which features Florida Georgia Line, was released on Monday.
Twitter users were quick to criticize Rice for claiming to have symptoms of the virus, with one person writing that the singer has “lost a fan” and another stating that they’ll “be turning off the radio every time” the new song comes on.
Other Twitter users expressed confusion that Rice would joke about COVID-19 after Florida Georgia Line’s Tyler Hubbard recently tested positive for the virus.
“One of them had COVID and you still think it’s OK to make a joke?” one person questioned.
“I’m legitimately glad you’re OK but it’s NOT funny joking about having COVID,” another person wrote. “Especially to promote music. People are literally dying from it. And Tyler might not find your joke funny either since he’s actually HAD COVID.”
Back in June, Rice came under fire for putting on a concert in Tennessee, which did not appear to follow social distancing guidelines or implement other COVID-19 precautions. The venue for the concert denied this, saying that “all local requirements were abided by for the recent concert, and numerous precautions were taken.”
Kelsea Ballerini, Maren Morris and The Mountain Goats were among those who criticized Rice at the time.
Following the backlash, Rice spoke out, saying that there are “a lot of varying opinions” on the virus. He then promoted his upcoming concerts, which were put on as drive-in shows, though he encouraged people to leave their cars to “party with me” while staying in their “own space.”
He added, “The safer we are now, the quicker we can get to actual, normal live shows, which I know we all want.”
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