Morgan Wallen Gives First Live Performance Since 'SNL' Debacle at CMA Awards

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Morgan Wallen is back on stage. The singer gave his first live performance since his Saturday Night Live debacle at the CMA Awards on Wednesday night. 

"Our next performer has had a big year in every way," co-host Darius Rucker said while introducing the singer.

"Not bad for a kid from Sneedville, Tennessee -- population, 1,387," co-host Reba McIntire added. "I hear this guy loves his hometown a whole lot."

Wallen --  who performed his song "More Than My Hometown" -- loves his hometown so much that his performance took place against a backdrop showing a Sneedville road sign.

Wallen's big night also included his first-ever CMA Awards win, when he was named the CMA New Artist of the Year!

Speaking with ET's Rachel Smith backstage after the victory and his performance, Wallen reflected on how it felt to claim the title of New Artist of the Year.

"Its nice! It feels nice to hear that," he said with a humble smile. "It feels good."

Before his performance, Rucker joked that Wallen had been in quarantine in his dressing room.

"For your safety, I just want everybody to know that I've had Morgan Wallen quarantine in my dressing room for two weeks now, so he might make the show. I'm not sure,” Rucker said as Wallen was shown cracking up in the audience.

The joke came a month after Wallen was uninvited from performing on SNL after being recorded partying maskless in Alabama amid the coronavirus pandemic. Wallen apologized for his behavior, saying, "I know that I put them in jeopardy, and I take ownership of this."

Speaking with ET, Wallen sad that he's learned from his mistakes in some important ways.

"I think I just gotta be aware that most of my actions... will be brought to light," Wallen shared. "I don't think I really truly understood the reach that I have. It's all hit me over quarantine."

"This year's been jacked up anyway," Wallen added. "And I haven't handled it the best way at all."

He also opened up about the controversy on Bobby Bones' Bobbycast podcast. "I understand both sides of it a little bit," he said. "I know that I got young kids that look up to me. I need to be mindful of things -- I'm not gonna let people control the way I live my life, [but] I do also want to be mindful."

"And honestly, having a son, obviously now I don't know that I'd be proud to show him those videos," he added of his 3-month-old son, Indigo. "I gotta think about some things a little bit differently."

Wallen called the moment "almost a good thing for me." "I took a while, like almost two weeks, and just turned my phone off and didn't even look at it," he said. "Drove on the tractor, things like that, and just cleared my head. It was really, really good to me."

Wallen also spoke with ET about his forthcoming sophomore album, Dangerous, which will feature 36 songs and come out on Jan. 8.

"It's done, I've already turned it in. It's a double album," he said. "See? I haven't just been getting on TikTok during quarantine! I've been working too."

"We've worked really, really hard on it and I'm really proud of it," he added. "So I can't wait till then."

See more on Wallen in the video below. 

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