Country music fans in the United States will recognise the name, Morgan Cole Wallen. He was a contestant on the sixth season of The Voice, at first on Usher’s team and then on Adam Levine’s.
He joined Panacea Records and released his debut EP, Stand Alone, in 2015 after being knocked out of the playoffs that year.
Wallen joined Big Loud in 2016, and the label released his debut album, If I Know Me, in 2018.
Singles “Up Down” (with Florida Georgia Line), “Whiskey Glasses,” and “Chasin’ You” can be found on the album.
The album If You Know Me by Meghan Linsey debuted at the top of the Billboard Top Country Albums chart.
Dangerous: The Double Album, Wallen’s second album, was released in January 2021 and spent its first seven weeks on top of the Billboard 200, a feat that had never been accomplished by a country album in the chart’s 64-year history.
The album was the first by a female artist since Whitney Houston’s Whitney in 1987 to spend at least ten consecutive weeks at number one. Three singles from the album peaked at number one on the Billboard Hot 100: “More Than My Hometown,” “7 Summers,” and “Wasted on You.”
Morgan Wallen Controversy
Morgan Wallen has spoken about the day he was caught on camera using a racial slur and the subsequent events, which led to a surge in his record sales and brought attention to the problem of racial inequality in country music.
The singer said in an interview with Good Morning America’s Michael Strahan on Friday that the video, which showed him using the N-word outside his Nashville home in January, captured what he thought at the time was a “playful” exchange between drunken friends, but he has since realised how ignorance clouded his “wrong” judgement.
Wallen said to Strahan, “I didn’t mean it in any negative tone at all.” He explained that he only used the word in the company of a select few people and had no idea the harm it may do.
According to Strahan, many Black individuals hear the slur before they are beaten or even killed, and he went on to explain the history of the word and its ties to slavery-era America.
Wallen remarked, “I can’t put myself in their shoes to see how they feel, but I can understand that it must sound like I don’t understand when I claim I’m using it lightly or ignorantly.”
Strahan also questioned Wallen, who claimed he didn’t know much about racial inequity in country music, about the topic.
Even though the 28-year-old was suspended from his label before his songs were pulled from the radio, he was barred from attending the 2021 Billboard Music Awards, and he was deemed ineligible for consideration at the 2021 ACM Awards, Strahan later pointed out that Wallen’s 2021 album Dangerous went on to become the most popular album of the year, with 2.108 units moved between January and July according to Billboard.
Wallen said he spent 30 days at a rehabilitation centre in San Diego and contacted various Black-led organisations and individuals, such as the Black Music Action Coalition advocacy group and singer BeBe Winans, to make amends for his actions and address a “deeper issue.”
We tried to put a dollar amount on the increase in my sales that this event prompted, he said. “We figured out a value close to $500,000, and we chose to give that to other groups. The pioneer was BMAC.”
In spite of the fact that Wallen’s sales went through the roof after the scandal, the incident sparked heated debates amongst his competitors.
To combat racism in country music, “Black Like Me” singer Mickey Guyton, who in February became the first Black woman to be nominated for a Grammy in the Best Country Solo Performance category, posted a series of tweets.
“I always find it funny when people say things like “this is not who we are” in response to country music.
I’ve seen it over the past decade and a half “As a writer, she put pen to paper. “You wouldn’t believe the disgusting things people say about me on a regular basis. As unpleasant as the reality may be, it must be faced.”
As she elaborated, “There are days when I wonder why I bother trying to succeed in a field that clearly despises me.
Then I remember that there is a brand new artist of colour who is eager to break into the business and who seems really happy to be here.
It’s possible that these creative person lacks the fortitude to stand up for themselves. The thing is, I do.
And I will be that musician’s champion as they follow their heart and pursue a career in country music.”
Their son, born in July of 2020, is Wallen’s and Smith’s joint responsibility.
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