DAY THREE AT BST HYDE PARK: MORGAN WALLEN MAKES HIS UK FESTIVAL HEADLINE DEBUT

Morgan Wallen

Day Three at American Express presents BST Hyde Park

With a full line up of stellar guests:

Riley Green

Ernest

Ella Langley      Alana Springsteen

Alexandra Kay   Zandi Holup    

Abbie Mac     The Halfway Kid      Evan Bartels

Thursday 4 July

Billed as one of the biggest country music events ever to take place in Britain, day three of American Express presents BST Hyde Park went off in great style today, with Tennessee-born singer-songwriter, Morgan Wallen headlining the Great Oak Stage. A backstage skit played on the big screens, following Wallen as he made his way from his dressing room to the stage. Appearing in a white shirt and trousers with a blue Field and Stream cap, he beamed: “My name’s Morgan Wallen and it’s an honour and a privilege to be here with you tonight… I can honestly say I never thought I would be celebrating the 4th of July in London, that’s for damn sure. But…you guys have already made me feel right at home and I just want to say thank you in advance if that’s the way you’re going to treat me for the rest of the night!”

Wallen promised an ecstatic audience that he would play “as many songs as I can”, and he kept to his word, kicking off his mighty set with “Ain’t That The Same” and “I Wrote The Book” before pulling out “One Thing At A Time”, “Everything I Love”, “‘98 Braves”, “Sunrise” and “I had Some Help” – the latter a cover of rapper Post Malone’s track, on which Wallen features.

The country music star made sure to address his dedicated fan base, some of whom had travelled all the way from the US to see their hero. “They told me before [that] there’s about 50,000 people in here tonight… I just want to say I’m humbled and honoured,” he noted. “…And that I’m the first country music artist to play the Hyde Park stage like this is a bad ass thing, so thank you guys so much for making this possible and thank you for loving my music from so far away.” Wallen continued to thrill fans with an energetic stage performance, before then walking through the crowd to a B Stage positioned further back into the crowd – high-fiving everyone as he went.

There, Wallen continued with “Cover Me Up”, “Lies Lies Lies” – which was recorded at Abbey Road studios earlier this year, and will be released at midnight tonight – and slowed the pace right down by taking to the piano for “Sand In My Boots”. Returning to the main stage to continue his set, he unleashed “Up Down”, “Whiskey Glasses” and “Cowgirls”, a duet with Wallen’s good friend and support act, Ernest. The night came to a climax with a three-song encore featuring “Thinkin’ About Me”, “Last Night” and “The Way I Walk” and a tremendous fireworks display, as Wallen bid the crowd goodnight.

Supporting Wallen was the brilliant Alabama singer-songwriter Riley Green. The 35-year-old singer from Jacksonville performed a jam-packed hour-long set, pulling out fan favourites such as “Damn Good Day To Leave”, “Should Have Been a Cowboy” and the heartfelt, “I Wish Grandpas Never Died”. Inviting fellow support act Ella Langley on stage, the pair also performed their own duet, Riley’s latest single, “You Look Like You Love Me”. Speaking about collaborating with Langley, Riley recently told Smooth Radio, “I don’t think anybody expected the song to be as big a hit as it is.”

This afternoon, ERNEST, aka Tennessee singer-songwriter Ernest Smith, took the Great Oak Stage by storm with a selection of eclectic tunes from his three studio albums, including his latest release “Big Loud”. The singer, who has previously contributed to Wallen’s much-loved track, “More Than My Hometown” and duetted with him on “Flower Shops”, left behind his five-acre farm and throng of chickens near Nashville to join his friend for his mind-blowing Hyde Park performance. Ernest tantalised the crowd with “Kiss of Death” and “Did It For The Story”, saying: “This is my first time ever in the UK and you guys are showing me the best time ever, Thank y’all so much.”  

“Unapologetically rock and roll grit” songstress and social media star, Ella Langley, kicked off proceedings on the Great Oak Stage today, and took the opportunity to announce that she would be releasing her first ever album in August. The singer, 25, who also hails from Alabama, teams up with Riley Green on his latest single.

Headlining The Rainbow Stage with true country gusto, Alana Springsteen was thrilled to be leading the audience into a night of great country tunes. “Damn, it feels good to be back, London!” the 22-year-old exclaimed as she got into the swing of things with “Twenty Something” and “If You Love Me Now”. The Illinois-born star, who has been playing the guitar since the age of seven, has previously explained her songs are very much rooted in life experience. “Our twenties, they can be confusing, exhilarating, humbling, and unforgettable,” she said. “We’ll mess things up, over and over again. We’ll learn, do better and start figuring things out.”

“I’m so happy to be here! This is my third time performing in London. Can I get a yee-haw?” Alexandra Kay cheered, taking to the stage. Dressed in a baby pink floral dress and baby pink cowboy boots, the 32-year-old singer revealed she had enjoyed “a few too many drinks in Brixton” the night before her performance. Even so, she bounced across the stage, entertaining the growing crowd with “Backroad Therapy”, “Painted Him Perfect” and the much-loved “Tall Boys”. She even challenged fans to a 90s country quiz to find out who knew their music – the winner being a loyal country music lover called Kayleigh.

Kicking off the day was Pennsylvania artist, Zandi Holup, who credits the likes of Dolly Parton, Joni Mitchell and Joan Baez for her incredible ability to storytell through her music. The singer was the perfect opening for The Rainbow Stage, warming the crowd up with her unique blend of folk and country tunes.

TikTok star Abbie Mac, British-Sudanese sensation The Halfway Kid, and Nashville-born up-and-coming singer Evan Bartels completed another epic day.

American Express presents BST Hyde Park continues on Friday 5 July with Andrea Bocelli and his special guests, Hanz Zimmer, Seal, Zucherro, Nadine Sierra, Isabel Leonard, Loren Allred, Andrea Griminelli, Rusanda Panfili, Luca Micheletti, Joaquina and Virginia Bocelli. Plus, Katherine Jenkins, Matteo Bocelli, Jamie Duffy, Billy Lockett, Cuca Roseta, Dardust, Olivia Belli and Ayanna Witter-Johnson.

www.bst-hydepark.com | @bsthydepark

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