LOS ANGELES — Embattled country artist Morgan Wallen won big at the 2021 Billboard Music Awards, despite not being allowed to attend, present, perform or accept any actual accolades from the primetime ceremony at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles.
The “Dangerous” singer took three awards – Top Country Artist, Top Country Male and Top Country Album – one month after showrunner Dick Clark Productions barred Wallen’s participation in the televised show after he was taped using a racial slur earlier in the year, KHAK reported.
According to multiple media reports, Wallen was suspended indefinitely from his label, Big Loud Records, and dropped from WME after video of the incident was made public. Radio stations, including those owned by iHeartMedia, Entercom and Cumulus Media, removed Wallen’s music from their playlists, Entertainment Tonight reported.
Wallen has since apologized publicly.
“Morgan Wallen is a finalist this year based on charting … As his recent conduct does not align with our core values, we will not be including him on the show in any capacity (performing, presenting, accepting),” the production company said in a prepared statement.
The “7 Summers” singer beat out country’s most nominated act of the night, Gabby Barrett, as well as Kane Brown, Luke Combs and Chris Stapleton for Top Country Artist. Wallen also bested Stapleton and Combs a second time by taking Top Country Male, and his double studio album, “Dangerous: The Double Album” beat out offerings from Barrett, Stapleton, Carrie Underwood and Sam Hunt, KHAK reported.
“It is heartening and encouraging to hear that Morgan is taking steps in his anti-racist journey and starting to do some meaningful work … We plan to evaluate his progress and will consider his participation in future shows,” Dick Clark Productions stated.
Wallen’s wins were announced as part of the Instagram Live portion of the awards program, which aired earlier Sunday. He is not nominated in any of the categories for whom winners will be announced during the primetime broadcast.
Cox Media Group