Comeback from cancelled

Lauren Runde, A&E Assistant Editor

Canceled. On February 2, 28 year old country music singer Morgan Wallen received backlash when a video recorded by one of his neighbors surfaced of him using a racial slur while coming home with some friends after a night out. Wallen’s career had been very successful and was on the rise after the release of “Dangerous: The Double Album”. He was one of the highest charted country music stars up until his career turned cold. Following the video, several radio stations stopped playing his music and his record label, Big Loud Records, suspended his contract indefinitely. The Academy of Country Music released statements addressing the incedent. “The Academy of Country Music will halt Morgan Wallen’s potential involvement and eligibility for this year’s 56th Academy of Country Music Awards cycle,” the organization said. The music industry was quick to act on Wallen’s actions. Following the backlash Wallen released this statement “I’m embarrassed and sorry. I used an unacceptable and inappropriate racial slur that I wish I could take back. There are no excuses to use this type of language, ever. I want to sincerely apologize for using the word. I promise to do better.” Although Wallen was removed from radio stations, his album went on to remain No. 1 on the Billboard 200 chart for another seven weeks. “Dangerous: The Double Album” spent a total of ten weeks at No. 1 and is thefirst country album in history to do so. In late July, Morgan Wallen made an appearance on Good Morning America in an interview with Michael Strahan to discuss and reflect on the footage released in February. Wallen mentioned that he did not mean what he said in any derogatory way. Wallen then explained that he is not sure what compelled him to use a racial slur and said, “I think I was just ignorant about it. I don’t think I sat down and was, like, ‘Hey, is this right or is this wrong?’” In the interview, Wallen admitted to checking himself into a rehab facility after the scandal. Wallen and his team also noticed a spike in sales following the controversy. “We got to a number somewhere around $500,000, and we decided to donate that money to some organizations— Black Music Action Coalition being the first one,” Wallen said. Wallen’s first performance since the scandal was on May 19, when he performanced two of his songs at Kid Rock’s downtown bar in Nashville. In September, Wallen sold out a three-night arrangement in Kentucky at the Rupp Arena to assist with Tennessee flood relief efforts. Most recently, on November 12, Wallen sold out a show at the Grounds in Mobile, Alabama for 31,000 people. Wallen decided not to tour this summer but is launching a 46-city tour, which will kick off on February 3 at the Ford Center in Evansville, Indiana, ending at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California on September 24, 2022. Wallen’s comeback from being canceled is apparent since he has been welcomed back by radio stations, is selling out shows, and is launching a tour for 2022.