PHOTO: Governor Bill Lee and Tennessee First Lady Maria Lee share their first dance as public officials to Luke Bryan’s “Here’s to the Farmers” Saturday night in Nashville / Photo by Alexander Willis
By ALEXANDER WILLIS
Country music star Luke Bryan made a surprise appearance Saturday night in Nashville for Governor Bill Lee’s Inaugural Ball, where Tennessee’s new governor and First Lady Maria Lee shared their first dance together as public officials.
“I’m a little overwhelmed, but so encouraged, so grateful, so humbled and so honored,” Lee said. “So many people in this room have been so responsible for where we are today, so all I can say is thank you. I’d certainly hoped for, but in some ways never imagined, that we’d be standing here doing this.”
Lee said that God had been instrumental in giving him the opportunity to lead the state of Tennessee, and that that’s something he would always remember and live by.
“The Lord has been very good to us for our entire lives, through so many ups and downs, and he’s certainly been good to us through the last couple of years, and we’re very grateful to him,” Lee said. “We commit to him, and we commit to you that we will live are lives to the fullest capacity that we can to serve every single one of you, and the six and a half million people that live in our great state of Tennessee.”
Lee then began teasing a surprise guest, citing his accomplishments as “four-time CMA Entertainer of the year winner, 50 million records, 21 number one records,” before unveiling the guest to be country music star Luke Bryan.
Coming on stage from behind the curtains, Bryan thanked Lee for the opportunity, speaking highly of his home of Tennessee.
“I’m very honored to have the opportunity to do this next song for Governor Lee and Ms. Maria,” Bryan said. “Never thought I would have the opportunity to be playing a song for you guys. And Maria don’t worry, I’m not going to do Country Girl Shake it for Me.”
With the crowd erupting with laughter, Bryan explained how the song, Lee and Maria would have their first dance as public officials to was chosen.
“This is a song that’s dear to me,” Bryan said. “When I heard of Governor Lee’s background in agriculture, farming and cattle, we sent some songs for them to listen to, and I was so happy they chose this one. This was a song that means a lot to me and my family because we grew up in an agricultural background, so I’m honored to this one.”
Lee and Maria then took center stage, dancing to Bryan’s “Here’s to the Farmers,” to many cheers from the crowd.