Kelsea Ballerini, Kip Moore, Cole Swindell and more respond to an emotional teen’s viral video Twitter/@Everything_TN

Some of the bravest hearts are found in the smallest bodies. And many members of the country music community are standing up with one such brave heart — East Tennessee teen Keaton Jones, who shared an emotional video after a bullying incident at his school.

Keaton’s mother captured video of her son after picking him up from school. In it, the young man questioned, “Why do they bully? What’s the point of it? Why do you find joy in taking innocent people and finding a way to be mean to them?”

That’s a good question, Keaton, and we agree with you.

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Kelsea Ballerini was one of the many celebrities lending her support to the young man. Kelsea, who is also from East Tennessee, sent a message to Keaton on Twitter saying, “Buddy, next time I make it home to [Knoxville] I’m going to walk into that lunchroom with you and watch the bullies say they are sorry to you. You don’t deserve that. Keep your head up and continue to be kind … you will always come out on top. Sending a hug.”

Kip Moore also reached out to Keaton, but his post included a powerful message to parents, too, and he didn’t mince words. Kip shared Keaton’s tearful video on his Instagram, and said, “Every parent should show their kids this video … My mom or dad woulda kicked my ass if I bullied other kids, and you should punch your own face if your kid does this shit! Lazy ass parenting. This is a special kid, and his self awareness is pretty unique for someone his age.” He added, “Show your damn kids the video and how not to treat people.”


Syndicated country radio personalities Big D and Bubba, also sent a message to parents on Instagram. They pleaded, “Parents: talk to your kids!!! BE A PARENT! This abhorrent behavior must stop.
It starts at home, and it must END at HOME!”

Sweet Cole Swindell has requested a meeting with Keaton face-to-face when he’s in Knoxville next month, and Texas singer-songwriter Bart Crow is rallying his pals to do a surprise concert for the young man and his family and friends.

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Country star Maren Morris also weighed in in defense of Keaton, calling him “brave.” Brothers Osborne, Chris Janson and Kacey Musgraves also offered messages of support.

Numerous other celebrities, including Dr. Phil McGraw, Ryan Seacrest and actress/singer Hailee Seinfeld, have also posted messages of encouragement for Keaton.

But big-hearted Americans from all walks of life have also stepped up and reached out to Keaton, sharing his photo, video, memes and the hashtag “#StandWithKeaton.”


Keaton said in his video that he isn’t the only one in his school that is being persecuted by bullies. With tears rolling down his cheeks, the tender-hearted teen said, “I don’t like it when they do it to me and I for sure don’t like it when they do it to other people. It’s not OK.”

No Keaton. It is not.

Based in Nashville, Tammy is a 20-year veteran of the country music community. She has worked in marketing, PR and artist development. Follow her @TammyGooGoo and join the conversation @RareCountry
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