Country music star Morgan Wallen scored the year’s best-selling album, despite a longtime blackout from countless music platforms and radio stations following the release of a secretly-recorded video of an inebriated Wallen calling his white friend the N-word.
Fox News reported Wednesday that Wallen’s “Dangerous: The Double Album” has sold 3 million copies, unexpectedly outpacing anticipated albums like Olivia Rodrigo’s “Sour” EP and Drake’s “Certified Lover Boy.”
Back in February, TMZ published a video reportedly recorded by a neighbor showing the “Dangerous” singer using expletives and the N-word after a night out in Nashville with friends:
In the aftermath, a solemn Wallen posted a video to his social media discussing the secretly-recorded footage, admitting to fans that he was “on hour 72 of a bender.”
“The video you saw was me on hour 72 of a bender, and that’s not something I’m proud of either,” he said. “Obviously, the natural thing to do is to apologize further and continue to apologize because you got caught, and that’s not what I wanted to do.”
“I let so many people down who mean a lot to me, who have given so much to me, it’s just not fair,” Wallen continued. “I let my parents down and they’re the furthest thing from the person in that video. I let my son down and I’m not OK with that.”
The then-27-year-old said he was offered the opportunity to have “some very real and honest conversations” with leaders of various black organizations, according to Fox News. He also pledged $500,000 to black charities.
“This week I heard firsthand some personal stories from black people that honestly shook me,” he explained. “And I know what I’m going through this week doesn’t even compare to some of the trials I about from them. I came away from those discussions with a deep appreciation for them and a clearer understanding of the weight of my words.”
“Our actions matter,” Wallen said. “Our words matter and I just want to encourage anyone watching to please learn from my mistake. There’s no reason to downplay what I did. It matters and please know I’m carefully choosing my next steps in repair.”
Following the video, Wallen was quickly shunned from the entertainment industry; his music was removed from numerous platforms. The Daily Wire reported:
Wallen’s music was first pulled by Cumulus Media. The country music heavyweight sent a directive to all of its 400-plus stations to remove Wallen’s songs from their playlists “effective immediately,” Variety reported.
iHeartRadio, Entercom, cable network CMT, satellite service SiriusXM, and streaming service Pandora have all also removed the 27-year-old’s songs. Variety noted that Wallen’s music is not currently appearing on platforms like Spotify and Apple Music, too. Nashville-based label Big Loud has suspended their contract with Wallen “indefinitely.”
Additionally, as reported by the New York Post, Wallen “has been disqualified from performing at or receiving any recognition during the upcoming Academy of Country Music Awards.”
Wallen’s fans, however, have clearly stuck with the singer/songwriter, as have numerous big-name country music stars.