Morgan Wallen to perform at the Billboard Music Awards
Morgan Wallen’s return train picks up speed.
The 28-year-old country singer will perform at next month’s Billboard Music Awards, organizers of the event announced on Friday, his first televised gig since he was caught on camera drunkenly using the N-word last year. in a video posted by TMZ.
Wallen’s use of the word threatened to derail a fast-moving career: radio stations pulled his music off the air; his record company “suspended” his contract (without ever specifying what that meant); and various industry groups—including the Country Music Assn., Academy of Country Music, and Recording Academy—disqualified or simply passed him off for major awards.
But Wallen’s 2021 “Dangerous: The Double Album” — filled with hit singles like “Somebody’s Problem,” “Sand in My Boots,” and “7 Summers,” the last of which went viral on TikTok — never stopped. to connect with listeners on streaming services like Spotify, and the 30-track collection ended up being the most consumed LP of the last year.
Even now, 15 months after its release, “Dangerous” sits at No. 2 this week on the Billboard 200 — a staggering display of resilience in a business with more churn than ever.
The music industry has been slower to reclaim Wallen, who has repeatedly apologized for the incident. But in recent months, the barriers have largely fallen: the singer’s music is once again a mainstay on country radio, and he’s currently on the road playing sold-out shows. In December, he teamed up with rapper Lil Durk for the country trap track “Broadway Girls”; last month, “Dangerous” was named album of the year at the ACM Awards.
And this week, Wallen’s new single, “Don’t Think Jesus” – an acoustic ballad about a small-town boy who moves to town and begins “chasing the devil through honky-tonk bars” – has debuted at No. 7 on the Hot 100.
Wallen was barred from attending the 2021 Billboard Music Awards (despite winning three awards, including Top Country Artist and Top Country Album). In a statement to Billboard on Friday, MRC Live & Alternative, which is producing the awards show, said, “After extensive review and extensive discussions internally and with the artist’s team, in which we have found a commitment demonstrated and continued commitment to meaningful work and outreach, we have issued an invitation to participate in this year’s show.
The 2022 Billboard Music Awards will air live May 15 on NBC from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.