A 22-year-old Kentucky singer and songwriter will appear on the “Huckabee” show Saturday, a week after he was attacked online when people confused him with a Nashville music executive who had criticized Mike Huckabee’s appointment to the Country Music Association Foundation.
Jason Owens of Florence was besieged with vitriolic comments on Twitter after people confused him with Jason Owen, the co-president of Monument Records and owner of Sandbox Entertainment. Owen and others in the country music industry had publicly criticized Huckabee’s appointment to the foundation because of his longtime opposition to gay marriage and support of the National Rifle Association. The former Arkansas Governor and two-time presidential candidate stepped down from the foundation one day after being appointed.
“I was called all kinds of names, including ‘trash’ and ‘un-American.’ Some people even threatened to ruin my music career,” Owens said.
Huckabee had tweeted a message to his followers March 4 asking them to stop the cyber-bullying of the young singer-songwriter because he had nothing to do with the controversy surrounding the CMA foundation. Huckabee then invited Owens to play on his show after hearing about the mix-up.
“It was Gov. Huckabee’s idea to have Jason on the show,” said Jim Rink, a producer for “Huckabee.” “He really felt like Jason was an amazing talent and got pulled into an awkward controversy. We just didn’t want it to be about politics or the controversy. We wanted to showcase his talent and skill and his ability to play music.”
The episode taped Tuesday night and will show at 8 p.m. Saturday on TBN or Trinity Broadcasting Network (Spectrum Ch. 277). Owens was interviewed by Huckabee and played with the Huckabee house band — The Music City Connection — and with the legendary Oak Ridge Boys in his first national television debut.
“It was an amazing experience,” Owens said. Owens is hosting a viewing party in Florence at Smoking This and That BBQ starting at 7 p.m., at which he will also have a mini-performance. Donations for the show will go to Samaritan’s Purse, a group Huckabee has long supported.
It appears Owens has some new and very influential fans after his Huckabee appearance — the Oak Ridge Boys. After the taping, they posted on their Twitter account that Owens was a “great and very talented young man.”