Country return. Morgan Wallen is opening up about how being a father helped him “grow” in the wake of his N-word scandal.
The “Whiskey Glasses” crooner, 28, reflected on his year of ups and downs while attending the 2022 Billboard Music Awards on Sunday, May 15. “I think mostly I can attribute it to being a dad,” he told Entertainment TonightWhile on the Las Vegas red carpet, Indigo shouted his son out for inspiring him. “Just seeing that I have another life that I’m responsible for kind of put things into perspective for me, so, I just didn’t really have a choice.”
Wallen welcomed his baby boy with ex in July 2020. KT Smith. He raised eyebrows when TMZ shared footage of him using a racial slur. Wallen later apologised and addressed the controversy in greater detail during a July 2020 meeting. Good Morning America interview.
“I was around some of my friends and we say dumb stuff together. In our minds, it’s playful. It sounds ignorant but that’s where it came from,” he said, acknowledging that it was not the first time he had used the insult. “I didn’t mean it in any derogatory manner at all. I think it was because I was ignorant about it. I don’t think I sat down and was like, ‘Hey, is this right or is this wrong?’”
The “Wasted on You” artist noted that he got in contact with a number of organizations after the video made headlines in order to help him learn more about the history of racial injustice in the United States. He stated that he was nine days sober when the footage was first made public in February 2021.
Wallen was briefly removed by Big Loud Records and his music was pulled off several country radio stations amid the backlash. However, his record sales skyrocketed — and he continued to be nominated for major trophies at the CMAs, AMAs and more throughout 2021. After being banned from the ACMs in the past, the Tennessee native won the Album of The Year award at the 2022 ACMs.
“When I started this album I was a kid. By the time I put it out, I was a father,” he said of Dangerous: The Double AlbumWhile accepting his March win at the ceremony. “That’s become more important to me than anything else. This album and this award will be a reminder to my son that his dad was a fighter and that he worked hard to make his dreams come true. … Most importantly, I have to address my fans personally and directly. Thank you, thankyou, thankyou. I’m blown away by you guys. God bless.”
The “Heartless” singer performed at the Billboard Music Awards for the first time on Sunday and is hitting the road on tour this summer. On the red carpet, he was joined by Lesli, his mother. He credited her support for helping him through some of his most difficult moments.
“My family, my friends and just a really good team — [and] my kid,” he told ET. “I’ve had a lot of really positive things going on behind the scenes that maybe weren’t necessarily brought to life, but I’ve been able to be in a good place because of all that. … Everybody tells you that they’re your friend when everything’s good, so it’s really nice to have people who really mean that.”