Morgan Wallen banned from American Music Awards, still nominated for country music categories

Morgan Wallen won’t be appearing at the 2021 American Music Awards.

The nominations for this year’s AMAs were revealed on Thursday, Deadline.com reported. The ceremony will take place on Nov. 21 at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles. The show will air live on ABC and will stream the next day on Hulu.

The country music artist received two nominations for the “Favorite Male Country Artist” and “Favorite Country Album” categories. But according to the outlet, show producer MRC Live & Alternative put an asterisk next to the 28-year-old’s name on its release announcing the nominees.

“American Music Awards (AMA) nominees are determined by performance on the Billboard Charts and are not chosen by a voting committee or membership organization,” the show producers said in a statement, as quoted by the outlet. “AMA nominees are based on key fan interactions with music (including streaming, album sales, song sales, radio airplay, social engagement), tracked by Billboard and its data partner MRC Data. The AMA winners are voted entirely by fans.”

MORGAN WALLEN SAYS PAST RACIAL SLUR WAS ‘IGNORANT,’ WAS INTENDED AS ‘PLAYFUL’ IN FIRST INTERVIEW AFTER SCANDAL

Morgan Wallen received two nominations for the “Favorite Male Country Artist” and “Favorite Country Album” categories.
(Photo by Jason Kempin/Getty Images)

“Morgan Wallen is a nominee this year based on charting,” the statement continued. “As his conduct does not align with our core values, we will not be including him on the show in any capacity (performing, presenting, accepting). We plan to evaluate his progress in doing meaningful work as an ally to the Black community and will consider his participation in future shows.”

Wallen was one of the genre’s biggest stars with crossover hits like “Whiskey Glasses” when a video of him using a racial slur was posted on TMZ in February. The disgraced country music artist apologized for using the slur and radio stations and streaming services temporarily dropped him from playlists. His album sales still surged.

He was disqualified from the Academy of Country Music Awards.

In July, Wallen told Michael Strahan on ABC’s “Good Morning” that he didn’t use the slur in a derogatory manner, but it was still wrong. Wallen claimed he had been drinking all weekend leading up to the night in question.

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Morgan Wallen has apologized after a video surfaced showed him shouting a racial slur. The video, which was first published by TMZ, showed him outside a home in Nashville, Tennessee yelling profanities. 

Morgan Wallen has apologized after a video surfaced showed him shouting a racial slur. The video, which was first published by TMZ, showed him outside a home in Nashville, Tennessee yelling profanities. 
(AP Photo/Sanford Myers)

“I was around some of my friends, and we say dumb stuff together,” said Wallen. “In our minds, it’s playful. That sounds ignorant but that’s really where it came from. And it’s wrong.”

He denied using the term frequently and said he only used it around a certain group of friends.

After Strahan, 49, explained some of the historical contexts behind the term, Strahan asked Wallen directly whether he understood why it makes Black people so upset.

“I don’t know how to put myself in their shoes because I’m not, you know, but I do understand,” Wallen said. “Especially when I say that I’m using it playfully, or whatever, ignorantly, I understand that must sound like ‘He doesn’t understand.’”

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Morgan Wallen attends the 55th Academy of Country Music Awards at the Grand Ole Opry on September 13, 2020 in Nashville, Tennessee. 

Morgan Wallen attends the 55th Academy of Country Music Awards at the Grand Ole Opry on September 13, 2020 in Nashville, Tennessee. 
(Photo by Jason Kempin/ACMA2020/Getty Images for ACM)

Wallen said since the incident he took time off and went to rehab. When album sales spiked following the industry’s condemnation of him, he decided to donate around $500,000 to organizations including Black Music Action Coalition.

The singer has since been reinstated to his record label after a months-long hiatus, Deadline.com reported. He also returned to country radio in August with his single “Sand In My Boots.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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