Despite Racism Backlash, ‘The Voice’ Star Morgan Wallen Breaks Major Record
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Country music star Morgan Wallen previously competed on the sixth season of The Voice and found major success afterward. But after recent racist comments surfaced, it looked like his career was taking a turn for the worst. Still, his fans have stuck by him leading him to break a major Billboard record.
Morgan Wallen Rose To Fame After Competing On ‘The Voice’
Wallen grew up in Tennessee and began singing at the age of 3. After winning a singing competition when he was 8 years old, Wallen was offered a recording contract. However, his mother wanted him to have a normal childhood and turned down the deal. He also planned to pursue a college baseball career but an injury put an end to that dream. This is when Wallen realized that he wanted to be a singer.
For his Blind Audition on The Voice in 2014, Wallen performed “Collide” by Howie Day. Shakira turned her chair almost immediately. Usher also turned his chair. They both agreed that Wallen’s voice is unique. It was during Wallen’s audition that Adam Levine sat on Blake Shelton’s lap and watched Shakira and Usher fight over him. Wallen chose to be on Team Usher.
In The Battles, Wallen went up against Brothers Walker singing “Hey Brother.” He was chosen to move on in the competition. In the second round of The Battles, he was stolen by Levine. He was eliminated in The Playoffs stage of the competition after his performance of “Stay.”
After appearing on The Voice, Wallen signed with Panacea Records in 2015. He released his EP called Stand Alone and eventually signed with Big Loud Records. After releasing numerous singles including “The Way I Talk,” Wallen was invited on tour with country duo Florida Georgia Line.
In 2018, Wallen’s debut album If I Know Me proved to be a major success on the charts. His single “Whiskey Glasses” reached the top spot on Country Airplay. The album eventually topped the Top Country Albums chart with smash singles “Up Down” and “Chasin’ You.”
Wallen Found Himself In Several Controversies Over The Past Year
In May 2020, Wallen was arrested outside of a Nashville bar for public intoxication and disorderly conduct. He reportedly had broken glass inside of the bar which got him kicked out and led to drunken confrontations with passersby. After appearing in court, Wallen did not face any further repercussions from the incident.
He put out an apology on Twitter. “I went out downtown last night with a few old friends. After a couple bar stops, we were horse-playing with each other. We didn’t mean any harm, and we want to say sorry to any bar staff or anyone that was affected” he wrote. “Thank you to the local authorities for being so professional and doing their job with class. Love y’all.”
Just a few months later in October 2020, Wallen was set to make his debut performing on Saturday Night Live. Videos surfaced of the country star disregarding social distancing rules amid the coronavirus pandemic. His performance was later postponed due to his violation of the safety protocols in place. He was brought back in a later episode in December and made fun of his blunder.
Despite Backlash, Wallen’s Music Continues To Surge
Fans were anticipating the release of Wallen’s second album Dangerous: The Double Album. It did not disappoint after topping the Billboard 200. He landed the cover of Billboard Magazine. The 27-year-old made history as the first artist to have six songs in the Top 10 of Hot Country Songs at the same time.
However, in February 2020, Wallen was seen on video hurling a racial slur at one of his friends. This had some major consequences because Big Loud Records announced it has suspended his recording contract indefinitely.
His music has been removed from the iHeartMedia rotation along with Cumulus Media’s playlists. He was not in Spotify’s Hot Country playlist or Apple Music’s Today’s Country Playlist. CMT and the Country Music Association also announced they were going to be removing Wallen’s appearances from all platforms. His latest album will not be eligible at the 56th Annual Academy of Country Music Awards. Wallen posted an apology on Instagram.
Even after all of this, Wallen just broke a Billboard record. He is the first country artist to spend the first seven weeks in the top spot on the Billboard 200. Diehard fans clearly continue to listen to Wallen’s music and keep it at the top of the charts.