Country star Brad Paisley joins friends’ invite to ‘relax and have a beer’
ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC/CNN) - Sometimes, the little things end up having a big impact.
That’s how it began for two best friends, one black and one white, who wanted to show a sense of unity after the death of George Floyd and during the protests and unrest in the country.
It even got the attention of a country music super star.
Best friends Benjamin Smith and Marcus Ellis set up in their driveway hoping people would stop by. Their roadside invitation to people was "black or white, relax and have a beer."
It received thousands of reactions and shares across the entire country. Smith and Ellis called the response “insane.”
"It's awesome; it feels so great," Ellis said.
"It's such a cool feeling that we're making such a big impact in the community," Smith said.
The two met building cell phone towers together and have been friends for years.
Their message made it to country music star Brad Paisley. He stopped by their party on a Zoom call, shocking the friends.
"Man, I am so thrilled to meet you, face to face like this," Paisley said on the call. "I'm so inspired by you, and we thought we should deliver more beer than you could possibly drink."
Hundreds and hundreds of dollars worth of beer was shipped directly to their house hours before the call.
"This is going to be a popular destination on this street," Paisley told them.
Beer and camaraderie can be soothing salves, but Paisley, and Ellis and Smith said they hadn't fogotten the true heart of the message.
"I'm trying to hear out my friends in the black community," Paisley said. 'That's what you guys are doing; together, the same thing. I'm all ears, always have been; I've had big ears my whole life."
The timing couldn't be better for Paisley, who just released a new song called "No 'I' in Beer."
The country mega star even hung around the party for the next half hour, meeting other friends and family.
"It means the world, from space and back, to the other milky ways and whatever, it means a lot," Ellis said.
"Through the rioting and protests, I kind of felt like I was being torn apart, and it was rough," Smith said. "And this is what builds it back up."