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Hank Jr.'s New Song Gets 150K Downloads

Hank Williams Junior's new song "Keep the Change" is a hit. It has gotten 150,000 in 24 hours and it's free to download.

He released it after ESPN dropped his long-running musical introduction to Monday Night Football over some comments he made about President Obama.

Though Williams initially apologized for his comments on Fox, he has been unapologetic in recent interviews, and told HLN's Joy Behar he was not fired by ESPN; he quit.

ESPN said it "decided to part ways" with Williams.

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Hank Williams Jr. will have his say.

Williams has cut a new song, "Keep the Change," calling out "Fox & Friends" and ESPN after an interview last week on the show led to the end of his association with the sports network and "Monday Night Football," long home to his "Are you ready for some football?" theme.

He's also scheduled to appear on "The View" and "Hannity" on Tuesday to discuss the uproar that sprung up after he made an analogy that President Barack Obama and House Speaker Rep. John Boehner golfing together would be like Nazi leader Adolph Hitler and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu playing a round.

ESPN decided to pull Williams' "All My Rowdy Friends" intro from last Monday's "MNF" telecast and the move became permanent Thursday.



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Are you ready for some football? Hank Williams Jr. isn't anymore.

The country singer and ESPN each took credit for the decision Thursday morning to ax his classic intro to "Monday Night Football."

The network had pulled the song from the game earlier this week after Williams made an analogy to Adolf Hitler while discussing President Barack Obama on Fox News on Monday morning.

"After reading hundreds of e-mails, I have made MY decision," Williams said in a statement to The Associated Press. "By pulling my opening Oct 3rd, You (ESPN) stepped on the Toes of The First Amendment Freedom of Speech, so therefore Me, My Song, and All My Rowdy Friends are OUT OF HERE. It's been a great run."

But ESPN's statement said: "We have decided to part ways with Hank Williams Jr. We appreciate his contributions over the past years. The success of Monday Night Football has always been about the games and that will continue."

Spokesman Kirt Webster said Williams made the decision Wednesday night, while the network said it informed Williams of the move Thursday morning.

Regardless of whose call it was, one of sports' and entertainment's most visible partnerships is over. The song had been a "Monday Night Football" staple since 1989 and survived the game's switch of networks from ABC to cable a few years ago.

The song is based on Williams' hit "All My Rowdy Friends Are Coming Over Tonight." The lyrics were changed each week to reflect the night's game.

ESPN will no longer have access to the music or words because Williams owns the publishing rights, the master recordings and the song. Williams, the son of country music icon Hank Williams, is known for his bombastic manner and strong opinions.

For next Monday's Bears-Lions game, ESPN will run before kickoff the preview segment that had been used at the start of the MNF telecast. The intro will be narrated by former Detroit star Barry Sanders.

"This is the format we'll likely use for the remainder of the season," spokesman Josh Krulewitz wrote in an email. "We haven't made any decisions beyond that."

Williams' statement on "Fox & Friends" comparing a golf game between Obama and Republican Rep. John Boehner to an outing featuring Hitler and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu went viral after ESPN announced it would pull the intro late that afternoon.

"It'd be like Hitler playing golf with Netanyahu," Williams said during the satellite interview.

Asked to clarify, Williams said, "They're the enemy," adding that by "they" he meant Obama and Vice President Joe Biden.

Anchor Gretchen Carlson later said to him, "You used the name of one of the most hated people in all of the world to describe, I think, the president." Williams replied, "Well, that is true. But I'm telling you like it is."

Williams issued a statement Monday night insisting his remarks were misunderstood, then apologized Tuesday.

Williams got plenty of support, even from some unlikely places.

Among his defenders were Whoopi Goldberg and Joy Behar of "The View," who have a very different political viewpoint from the conservative Williams, but often are called out for their own comments.

"Those among us who are without sin, cast the first stone," Goldberg said.



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Hank Williams Jr. is apologizing for using an analogy to Adolf Hitler in discussing President Barack Obama that prompted ESPN to pull his classic intro song to "Monday Night Football."

Williams said in a statement posted on Facebook and his website Tuesday that his passion for politics and sports "got the best or worst of me."

In an interview Monday on Fox News' "Fox & Friends," Williams, unprompted, said of Obama's outing on the links with House Speaker John Boehner: "It'd be like Hitler playing golf with (Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin) Netanyahu."

Asked to clarify, Williams said, "They're the enemy," adding that by "they" he meant Obama and Vice President Joe Biden.

It is not known if the intro, synonymous with "Monday Night Football" since 1989, would be used again.



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Last night's Monday night football game was missing its signature opening song. ESPN pulled Hank Williams Jr. from the broadcast after he made some controversial comments.

Williams Jr. appeared on Fox News Monday where he compared this past summer's so-called golf summit between Obama and House Speaker John Boehner as quote, "It'd be like Hitler playing golf with (Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin) Netanyahu." Williams also said, "one of the biggest political mistakes ever."

According to a statement from ESPN, "While Hank Williams Jr. Is not an ESPN employee, we recognize he is closely linked to our company through the opening to Monday Night Football. We are extremely disappointed with his comments."

Hank Williams Jr. Is perhaps best known for his musical rendition of "Are you ready for some football?".

In result, ESPN pulled his song during the opening of Monday Night Football.


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