Following confirmation Whisperer Beta (Ryan Hurst) was famed country music singer Half Moon pre-apocalypse, a revelation made in The Walking Dead Season 10 episode 14, "Look at the Flowers," AMC has released "I Went to the Well" from the singer's Live in Concert album. The song was first heard when Beta, now waging war against the survivors in the wake of leader Alpha's (Samantha Morton) death at the hands of Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan), used his music to attract and collect more "guardians" for the walker horde he will unleash upon Alexandria in Sunday's premature season finale, 1015, "The Tower."
Showrunner Angela Kang revealed Beta's backstory imagined by Hurst was influenced in part by singer-songwriter Garth Brooks, who briefly operated under the alter ego "Chris Gaines." Unlike his comic book counterpart — a famous basketball player who also headlined a series of car commercials — Beta was re-imagined as a world-famous musician, described in the Half Moon: Live in Concert album as a "true American genius" and "the most prolific recording artist of our lifetime."
"We were thinking about all of that stuff, and in the comic books he's a basketball player. But as we were constructing it here, we were like, 'Does [Hurst] really feel like a basketball player? Maybe more of a football player, but is that the way we want to go?'" Kang told EW. "And Ryan had this idea of, 'Oh, maybe he was this musician,' and we thought that that was really cool."
Hurst also revealed Beta's tragic origin story not told on the show, explaining why the traumatized Beta is never seen by others without his mask.
"I think the aspect of it that was kind of important is he was this famous guy and he had this dark side that kind of came out in the apocalypse. So we worked on this backstory and then just thought it'd be really fun to have this musical figure and we were sort of looking for reference and that was what we were pulling on," Kang said. "And just the idea that even before the apocalypse there was a part of him that he kind of kept hidden at times."
After a Half Moon album was glimpsed in companion series Fear the Walking Dead, Beta's secret identity was hinted at again earlier in Season 10 when Magna (Nadia Hilker) enjoyed one of the singer's albums at Hilltop. The music was penned by actress-musician Emily Kinney, who played Beth Greene, Maggie's (Lauren Cohan) half-sister, until Season 5.
"That was Ryan Hurst singing that song, and that's the song that recurs now, so we had a little bit of fun kind of burying all of that kind of in the show and even in Fear," Kang said.
The only thing scarier than Beta is how good this song is. #TWD— The Walking Dead on AMC (@WalkingDead_AMC) April 2, 2020
I can’t stop thinking about how Rick May of been a Beta fan before the outbreak. pic.twitter.com/XkzDUH4R62— Grayson Nomad 🏝AC: New Horizons🏝 (@grayson_nomad) April 2, 2020
Ryan Hurst has a new career opportunity.— Barbara Stokes (MAGA2020)☆☆☆ (@LibertyLover56) April 2, 2020
I'm so happy you put out the whole song, been waiting for this ever since I heard it. @RamboDonkeyKong is such a great singer. Hoping it will be on Spotify as well. ;)— Gerhard (@Gertzu77) April 2, 2020
Horde of Zombies in concert !!!! 😂😂😂😂😂😂😂 pic.twitter.com/Mzjr7wWD8R— 👑🏹MartinaTWD🦉🇪🇸 (@mtescobosa) April 2, 2020
Why isn’t it on Spotify tho 😂— rachie (@ricksdxryl) April 2, 2020