Morgan Wallen Wins 3 Billboard Music Awards Despite Being Banned
Country singer Morgan Wallen had a successful night at the 2021 Billboard Music Awards, despite not being able to participate.
The "Wasted On You" singer won three awards but did not attend the event which took place on Sunday, May 23, at the Microsoft Theatre in Los Angeles, Calif.. The awards included Top Country Artist, Top Country Male Artist and Top Country Album for Dangerous: The Double Album.
The 28-year-old was not allowed to perform, present or accept any awards at the ceremony after he was caught earlier this year on video using a racial slur, in footage obtained by TMZ.
"Unique among awards shows, Billboard Music Awards (BBMA) finalists are determined by performance on the Billboard charts, and are not chosen by a voting committee or membership organization. BBMA finalists and winners are based on key fan interactions with music (including album and digital song sales, streaming, radio airplay, social engagement), tracked by Billboard and its data partners, including MRC Data," Dick Clark Productions explained in a statement in April.
"With our content reaching millions of viewers, dcp and MRC have the privilege and responsibility to effect change by creating a more inclusive dialogue in our productions and across the industry. 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," the statement continued.
The statement concluded, "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."
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Wallen has since apologized for the video.
"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," he told TMZ at the time.
He also released a video to apologize directly to his fans. "I let so many people down. 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 okay with that," he said.
In the clip, he said he has been in contact with Black-led organizations and working to educate himself on racism. "And one thing I've learned already [and] I'm specifically sorry for is that it matters," he said.
Wallen was also declared ineligible to compete in the Academy of Country Music awards, and was reportedly dropped by WME, suspended indefinitely from Bid Loud Records, and had his music removed from Sirius XM, Pandora and radio stations owned by iHeartMedia, Entercom and Cumulus Media in light of the scandal.
Wallen has not yet commented publicly on the Billboard wins.