Morgan Wallen

Morgan Wallen
Birth nameMorgan Cole Wallen
Born (1993-05-13) May 13, 1993 (age 27)
Sneedville, Tennessee
Genres
Occupation(s)
  • Singer
  • songwriter
Instruments
  • Vocals
  • guitar
Years active2014–present
Labels
Websitemorganwallen.com

Morgan Cole Wallen (born May 13, 1993) is an American country music singer and songwriter. Born in Tennessee, he competed in the sixth season of The Voice, originally as a member of Usher's team, but later as a member of Adam Levine's team. After being eliminated in the playoffs of that season, he signed to Panacea Records, releasing his debut EP, Stand Alone, in 2015.

In 2016, Wallen signed to Big Loud Records, releasing his debut album, If I Know Me, in 2018. The album was a moderate commercial success, and reached number 13 in the United States. Wallen's sophomore album, Dangerous: The Double Album, was released in January 2021 and topped the charts in multiple countries. His single, "7 Summers" reached the top 10 of the charts in the United States and Canada.

Wallen has been the subject of multiple controversies. In May 2020, he was arrested in a bar for disorderly conduct. In October of the same year, Wallen was criticized after photos emerged showing that he was without a mask at a party during the COVID-19 pandemic, where he kissed several women and violated social distancing recommendations. This led Saturday Night Live to postpone Wallen's performance on the show and replace him with singer Jack White. In February 2021, Wallen was recorded using a racial slur which resulted in suspension from his label and removal of his music from many major radio networks in the US.

Early life

Morgan Wallen was born in Sneedville, Tennessee to a Baptist pastor and Lesli Wallen.[citation needed] As a child, Wallen took piano and violin lessons. He was offered a scholarship to play baseball in college, but after an injury, chose to pursue music instead.[2]

Career

2014:

In 2014, Wallen competed on season 6 of The Voice, initially as part of Usher's team and later Adam Levine's team. He was eliminated during the playoffs.[2]

2015: Panacea Records and

During Wallen's stint on The Voice, he began working with Sergio Sanchez of Atom Smash who introduced him to Bill Ray and Paul Trust of Panacea Records.[3] In 2015, Wallen signed to Panacea Records and recorded a catalog of songs that resulted in the five song EP Stand Alone. During these recording sessions, Wallen met Dominic Frost (guitar), Mark "Taco" Annino (drums), and Luke "Cowboy" Rice (bass) who became part of his touring band. Stand Alone was released on August 24, 2015, with "Spin You Around" being Wallen's debut track under Panacea Records. During 2015, Wallen began working with Dirk Hemsath of Hard 8 Working Group Management who later got Wallen into contact with Big Loud Records.[3]

2016–2019: Big Loud Records and If I Know Me

In late 2016, Wallen signed to Big Loud Records, a label owned by record producer Joey Moi. He released his debut single "The Way I Talk" soon afterward.[4] In addition, he co-wrote the A Thousand Horses single "Preachin' to the Choir".[2] In April 2017, Wallen released a music video for "The Way I Talk".[5] He also joined Florida Georgia Line for set dates on their Dig Your Roots Tour.[2] Wallen co-wrote the single "You Make It Easy" by Jason Aldean.[6]

On April 27, 2018, Wallen released his debut album, If I Know Me.[7][8] The second single from the album, "Up Down", was recorded with Florida Georgia Line.[9] According to Wallen, he and Florida Georgia Line knew each other, and when FGL heard the single, they became interested in a collaboration.[10] The album's third single "Whiskey Glasses" was released to country radio on July 30, 2018. It reached number one on the Country Airplay in June 2019. Wallen joined Florida Georgia Line on their Can't Say I Ain't Country Tour in 2019.[11] Wallen also made a short appearance on the December 3, 2018 episode of WWE Raw. "Whiskey Glasses" went on to become the year-end number one song on country radio for 2019.[12] Wallen released "Chasin' You" to country radio as the fourth single from If I Know Me in July 2019.[13][14] Wallen was also a co-writer on Dallas Smith's song "The Fall".[15]

In August 2020, If I Know Me reached number one on the Top Country Albums chart after a record-breaking 114 weeks.[16]

2020-present:

On May 27, 2020, Wallen released "More Than My Hometown" to country radio as the lead single to his upcoming second studio album. On August 14, Wallen released the song "7 Summers" and it broke the record for the most first day streams for a country song on Apple Music. It earned him his first top 10 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, debuting and peaking at number six.[17] The song also has been chosen by the Time's best songs of 2020 on November 23, 2020.[18] On November 11, Wallen announced that his second album would be a double album titled Dangerous: The Double Album, set for release on January 8, 2021.[19] Wallen announced the release date for the album as an Easter egg in the short film for "7 Summers".

Dangerous: The Double Album debuted atop the US Billboard 200 and Canadian Albums Chart.[20][21] It would remain atop both charts for four consecutive weeks, marking the first new album from a male country artist to do that in the U.S. since Alan Jackson's Drive in 2002.[22][23] Wallen also became the first artist to ever chart six songs within the Top 10 of Hot Country Songs at the same time in the week after his album's release with "Wasted on You", "More Than My Hometown", "Somebody's Problem", "7 Summers", "Sand in My Boots", and "Warning".[24] Wallen also charted 23 tracks from the album on the Canadian Hot 100,[25] and 19 tracks on the Hot 100 in the U.S., including "Cover Me Up" and "This Bar".[26]

Controversies

In May 2020, Wallen was arrested outside Kid Rock's bar in downtown Nashville for public intoxication and disorderly conduct.[27][28] Wallen apologized stating he and his friends "didn't mean any harm".[29]

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Wallen received backlash on social media after videos emerged of him partying at a bar in Tuscaloosa, Alabama,[30] a week before his scheduled debut on Saturday Night Live on October 10, 2020; Wallen was shown maskless, violating social distancing recommendations, and kissing college-age women.[31][32][33] On October 7, Wallen announced that the producers of SNL had postponed his appearance for violating the show's COVID-19 protocols and was replaced with American singer-songwriter Jack White.[30] Wallen appeared as musical guest on the December 5 episode. He appeared in a sketch that poked fun at the controversy.[34][35]

On February 2, 2021, TMZ posted a video clip (recorded on January 31) showing Wallen using the word "nigger" with friends as they were entering his Nashville home.[36] Following backlash on the internet, Wallen admitted to using the racial slur and posted an apology.[37] SiriusXM Satellite Radio, iHeartRadio, Entercom, and Cumulus Media, issued directives to their stations to remove Wallen's music from airplay. Wallen's songs and promotional photographs were removed from Apple Music, Pandora and Spotify playlists.[38][39] The following day, CMT and the Country Music Association announced the removal of Wallen's appearances from all of their platforms, and Wallen's record label Big Loud (and partner Republic Records) suspended its recording contract with him indefinitely.[40][41][42][43][44] On February 3, 2021, the Academy of Country Music announced that Wallen and his latest album Dangerous: The Double Album would be ineligible for the 56th Annual Academy of Country Music Awards.[45]

Discography

Awards and nominations

Year Association Category Nominated Work Result Ref.
2019 CMT Music Awards Breakthrough Video of the Year "Whiskey Glasses" Nominated [46]
Country Music Association Awards New Artist of the Year Himself Nominated [47]
2020 Academy of Country Music Awards New Male Artist of the Year Himself Nominated [48]
Country Music Association Awards New Artist of the Year Himself Won
iHeartRadio Music Awards Country Song of The Year "Whiskey Glasses" Nominated
Best New Country Artist Himself Won
Billboard Music Awards Top Country Song "Whiskey Glasses" Nominated
Top Country Album If I Know Me Nominated
CMT Music Awards Male Video of the Year "Chasin You' (Dream Video)" Nominated
American Music Awards Favorite Male Artist-Country Himself Nominated
Favorite Album-Country If I Know Me Nominated

References

  1. ^ "Morgan Wallen". AllMusic. Retrieved June 14, 2020.
  2. ^ a b c d Casey, Jim (March 13, 2017). "Who's New: Morgan Wallen". Nash Country Daily. Archived from the original on April 24, 2017. Retrieved April 23, 2017.
  3. ^ a b "Morgan Wallen Artist Bio". Carolina Country Music Fest. Retrieved May 6, 2020.
  4. ^ Nicholson, Jessica (September 27, 2016). "Big Loud Records' Morgan Wallen Trades Baseball Ambitions For Country Music Dreams". MusicRow. Retrieved April 23, 2017.
  5. ^ Brickey, Kelly (April 9, 2017). "Morgan Wallen Celebrates Upbringing in Video for 'The Way I Talk'". Sounds Like Nashville. Retrieved April 23, 2017.
  6. ^ "Lyrics uncovered: Jason Aldean, 'You Make It Easy'". Taste of Country. Retrieved February 14, 2018.
  7. ^ Hoffman, Lauren (April 26, 2018). "EXCLUSIVE: Morgan Wallen's Debut Album 'If I Know Me' Reveals What He's All About". Radio.com.
  8. ^ Jon Freeman, (June 19, 2018) Rolling Stone
  9. ^ Cirisano, Tatiana (April 19, 2018). "How 'Up Down' Singer Morgan Wallen Went From Singing at Bonfires to Collaborating With Florida Georgia Line". Billboard.com.
  10. ^ "Morgan Wallen Talks New Single Collab with Florida Georgia Line". MegaCountry.com.
  11. ^ Konicki, Lisa (January 9, 2019). "Florida Georgia Line Announce Can't Say I Ain't Country Tour with Dan + Shay". Onecountry.com. Retrieved February 2, 2019.
  12. ^ "Billboard Country Update" (PDF). Billboard. December 9, 2019.
  13. ^ Casey, Jim (July 9, 2019). "Morgan Wallen to Release Smoldering New Single, "Chasin' You" [Listen]". Nash Country Daily. Cumulus Media.
  14. ^ "Morgan Wallen Is Still After an Ex in New Single 'Chasin' You' [Listen]". Taste of Country. Retrieved January 24, 2020.
  15. ^ Colley, Katie (August 6, 2020). "Dallas Smith Announces New Album 'Timeless', Reveals Tracklisting". ET Canada.
  16. ^ "Billboard Country Update - August 10, 2020" (PDF). Billboard. August 10, 2020.
  17. ^ Black, Lauren Jo (August 19, 2020). "Morgan Wallen Shatters Records With '7 Summers'". Country Now. Retrieved August 19, 2020.
  18. ^ "The 10 Best Songs of 2020". Time. Retrieved December 10, 2020.
  19. ^ Dukes, Billy (November 11, 2020). "Morgan Wallen Announces New 'Dangerous' Double Album, Featuring Chris Stapleton". Taste of Country. Retrieved November 12, 2020.
  20. ^ "Morgan Wallen Chart History: Billboard 200". Billboard. Retrieved February 4, 2021.
  21. ^ "Morgan Wallen Chart History: Canadian Albums". Billboard. Retrieved August 25, 2020.
  22. ^ Caulfield, Keith (January 31, 2021). "Morgan Wallen's 'Dangerous' Makes It Three Weeks at No. 1 on Billboard 200 Chart". Billboard.
  23. ^ Caulfield, Keith (February 7, 2021). "Morgan Wallen's 'Dangerous' Spends Fourth Week at No. 1 on Billboard 200 Albums Chart". Billboard.
  24. ^ Jim Asker (January 19, 2021). "Billboard Country Update: On the Charts" (PDF). Billboard. p. 4. Retrieved January 20, 2021.
  25. ^ "Morgan Wallen Chart History (Canadian Hot 100)". Billboard. Retrieved February 4, 2021.
  26. ^ "Morgan Wallen Chart History (Hot 100)". Billboard. Retrieved February 4, 2021.
  27. ^ Summers, Blake (May 24, 2020). "Country music artist arrested in Downtown Nashville". Wsmv.com. Retrieved January 12, 2021.
  28. ^ "Country artist Morgan Wallen arrested after incident at Kid Rock's Honky Tonk". Wkrn.com. May 24, 2020. Retrieved January 12, 2021.
  29. ^ Whitaker, Streling (May 24, 2020). "Morgan Wallen Apologizes for Drunk and Disorderly Arrest: 'We Didn't Mean Any Harm'". Taste of Country.
  30. ^ a b Wilusz, Ryan (October 7, 2020). "Crimson Tide parties during COVID-19: Why Morgan Wallen is trending and canceled from SNL". Tennessean. Retrieved October 9, 2020.
  31. ^ Low, Elaine (October 7, 2020). "Morgan Wallen Under Scrutiny for Maskless Partying Ahead of 'SNL' Appearance". Variety. Retrieved December 6, 2020.
  32. ^ Wright, Megh (October 7, 2020). "SNL's Next Musical Guest Spent the Weekend Kissing and Partying Mask Free". Vulture. Retrieved December 6, 2020.
  33. ^ Aderoju, Darlene (October 7, 2020). "Morgan Wallen Faces Criticism After Partying amid Coronavirus Ahead of SNL Appearance". People. Retrieved October 9, 2020.
  34. ^ Slater, Georgia (December 6, 2020). "SNL and Morgan Wallen Joke About How He Was Previously Disinvited for Breaking COVID-19 Protocols". People. Retrieved December 6, 2020.
  35. ^ "Morgan Wallen Made His 'Saturday Night Live' Debut With "7 Summers" And "Still Goin Down" — WATCH". Music Mayhem Magazine. December 6, 2020. Retrieved December 6, 2020.
  36. ^ "Morgan Wallen Hurls N-Word Outside Home After Rowdy Night Out". TMZ. February 2, 2021. Retrieved February 3, 2021.
  37. ^ Calvario, Liz (February 3, 2021). "Morgan Wallen Apologizes for Using the N-Word After Rowdy Night Out". Entertainment Tonight. Retrieved February 3, 2021.
  38. ^ "Morgan Wallen's Music Removed From iHeart's Radio Stations and Others Following Racial Slur". Billboard. Retrieved February 3, 2021.
  39. ^ Willman, Chris (February 3, 2021). "Country Radio Quickly Removing Morgan Wallen From Playlists After Racial Slur". Variety. Retrieved February 3, 2021.
  40. ^ @BigLoud (February 3, 2021). "In the wake of recent events, Big Loud Records has made the decision to suspend Morgan Wallen's recording contract indefinitely" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  41. ^ Millman, Ethan; Millman, Ethan (February 3, 2021). "Morgan Wallen's Record Deal 'Suspended Indefinitely' Following Racial Slur Video". Rolling Stone. Retrieved February 3, 2021.
  42. ^ Limbong, Andrew (February 3, 2021). "Country Star Morgan Wallen Suspended By Label, Dropped By Radio, CMT After Using Slur". NPR.
  43. ^ "After learning of Morgan Wallen's racial slur late last night, we are in the process of removing his appearances from all our platforms. We do not tolerate or condone words and actions that are in direct opposition to our core values that celebrate diversity, equity & inclusion". Twitter. CMT. February 3, 2021. Retrieved February 3, 2021.
  44. ^ Chris Willman (February 3, 2021). "Morgan Wallen Disqualified by Academy of Country Music for Upcoming Awards; One-Day Airplay Down 80%". Variety. Retrieved February 4, 2021.
  45. ^ Grein, Paul (February 3, 2021). "Morgan Wallen Won't Be Eligible for 2021 ACM Awards After Racial Slur". Billboard. Retrieved February 4, 2021.
  46. ^ Freeman, Jon (June 6, 2019). "2019 CMT Music Awards: The Complete Winners List". Rolling Stone. Retrieved July 20, 2019.
  47. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on November 15, 2019. Retrieved November 14, 2019.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  48. ^ "2020 ACM Awards: The Nominees List". Theboot.com. Retrieved April 4, 2020.

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