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Morgan Wallen 'thrilled' to donate $100,000 to Chicago students as he returns to stage

 'You Proof' singer Morgan returned to the stage and had a major surprise


Keri Blackwell, Deputy Director, Cubs Charities; Morgan Wallen; Rosa Escareño, General Superintendent & CEO of Chicago Park District
Rebecca Lewis
Rebecca Lewis - Los Angeles
Los Angeles correspondentLos Angeles
24 June 2023
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Morgan Wallen has donated $100,000 to local students in Chicago for the revitalization of South Chicago’s Bessemer Park baseball field. 

The country superstar made the announcement - and handed over the check - ahead of his performance at Chicago’s Wrigley Field on Friday June 23. The Bessemer Park field is the home of Baker and Bowen High School students, and the donation complements a previous $150k donation from Cubs Charities, offering $250,000 to help upgrade the side wings and dugouts, a new diamond with a new backstop, and the rehabilitation of the playing surface for multiple levels of play.

Keri Blackwell, Deputy Director, Cubs Charities; Morgan Wallen; Rosa Escareño, General Superintendent & CEO of Chicago Park District © MATT PASKERT
Morgan with students from Baker and Bowen high schools
Morgan Wallen© David Lehr
"This donation combined with being back on stage performing for my fans tonight at Wrigley is a true double header for me," said Morgan

“Our mission with the Morgan Wallen Foundation is to support youth programs in the areas of sports and music. We are thrilled to donate $100k to Bessemer Park to give the kids a place to play ball here in South Chicago,” Morgan told HELLO! 

"This donation combined with being back on stage performing for my fans tonight at Wrigley is a true double header for me.” 

The moment came as Morgan, 30, was performing for over 80,000 fans on his One Night At A Time world tour. He performed the night prior, on June 22, and Friday's show marked the first time a country singer had sold out Wrigley Field, the home of the MLB team Chicago Cubs, on back to back nights. 

Morgan Wallen and Ernest on stage in Chicago © Matthew Paskert
Morgan Wallen and Ernest on stage in Chicago

The first night saw him perform with friend and touring mate ERNEST for their hit single 'Flower Shop' while Morgan also bought out a second surprise guest – rapper Lil Durk. 

"This is where I usually step off stage and take a little break, but I’ve got a good buddy in town… he is one of Chicago’s own. Y’all make some noise for my brother Lil Durk!" he said, as they performed 'Stand By Me' for the first time live. 

morgan wallen and lil durk on stage © Matthew Paskert
Morgan also bought out Lil Durk

This also marked his return to the stage after six weeks of vocal rest. "Thank you for the kind welcome, that means a lot to me. About six weeks ago, I wasn't really sure when I was gonna be able to sing again,” he told the crowds on Thursday. 

"I see more of y’all’s support, so I could not make it through without everything y’all do for me, so thank you. I’m really, really happy to be here. Thank you so much for showing up." 

On April 24 Morgan was slated to appear at the Ole Miss stadium in support of his most recent studio album One Thing at a Time, which has been number one on the Billboard 200 for 13 weeks and counting. 

morgan wallen acm awards 2020© Getty Images
Morgan was placed on six-week vocal rest

However, after the opening acts (HARDY, ERNEST, Parker McCollum and Bailey Zimmerman) had performed, minutes before he was scheduled to appear, a message flashed on the Jumbotron stating that he would be backing out due to vocal challenges. 

"Ladies & Gentlemen, unfortunately Morgan has lost his voice and is unable to perform tonight – therefore tonight's show has been canceled. Please make your way safely to the stadium exits. Refunds for tonight's event will be available at point of purchase." 

Several of the 60,000 attendees took to social media to express their frustration, with many clips of angry fans going viral on TikTok soon after.

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