Interracial best friends in Pittsford, New York, recently made headlines amid the Black Lives Matter movement, and caught the attention of Brad Paisley.
Benjamin Smith, who is white, and Marcus Ellis, who is black, set up chairs outside Smith’s house with a sign that read, “Black or white, relax and have a beer.”
Brad learned about the friends after News 8 WROC, a CBS affiliate in Rochester, covered the story.
Today, I had a chance to catch up with two great guys, Benjamin Smith and Marcus Ellis. These two best friends have set up camp at Smith's house in Pittsford on Jeff. Road, saying "Black or white, relax and have a beer." #ROC @News_8 pic.twitter.com/N5fP2qtxWH— Dan Gross (@DJG_Music) June 3, 2020
He responded by buying hundreds of dollars worth of beer at AJ’s Beer Warehouse in upstate New York and sending it to the pair.
News 8 reports, Paisley jumped on a video call with Smith and Ellis and told them, "Man, I am so thrilled to meet you face-to-face like this. I’m so inspired by you, and we thought we should deliver more beer than you could possibly drink. This is going to be a popular destination on this street."
Paisley added, “I’m trying to hear out my friends in the black community, that’s what you guys are doing; together, the same thing.”
Ellis told him, “It means the world, from space and back, it means a lot.”
This is surreal. Remember Benjamin Smith and Marcus Ellis? The two best friends who offered: "Black or white, relax and have a beer" on their driveway?— Dan Gross (@DJG_Music) June 7, 2020
Well, they got a surprise call from @BradPaisley today, who wanted to take them up on their offer. #ROC @News_8 pic.twitter.com/hOCJvcNzZo
Smith got emotional, saying, “Through the rioting and protests, I felt like I was being torn apart, and it was rough. And this is what builds it back up.”
Brad hung out with Ellis, Smith and their friends and family via Zoom, and even performed his new song, “There’s No ‘I’ In Beer.”
Paisley has been posting about Black Lives Matter, and shared this message on Friday. He left his phone number and asked fans to text him to find out how they are feeling and what they are learning.