Morgan Wallen Wins Top Country Awards at 2021 BBMAs Despite Being Barred from Ceremony
By Jennifer Drysdale
Jason Kempin/ACMA2020/Getty Images for ACM
Morgan Wallen is a Billboard Music Award winner. The "Dangerous" singer won top country awards at this year's BBMAs, despite being barred from attending or performing at the ceremony.
Of his six nominations, Wallen took home three before Sunday night's show -- Top Country Artist, Top Country Male Artist, and Top Country Album for Dangerous: The Double Album.
Dick Clark Productions shared the day Billboard Music Awards nominations were announced that Wallen would not perform, present or accept any awards at the ceremony, after he was caught on camera using a racial slur. Wallen has since apologized.
"Unique among awards shows, Billboard Music Awards (BBMA) finalists are determined by performance on the Billboard Charts, and are not chosen by a voting committee or membership organization," Dick Clark Productions said in a statement. "BBMA finalists and winners are based on key fan interactions with music (including album and digital song sales, streaming, radio airplay, social engagement), tracked by Billboard and its data partners, including MRC Data. With our content reaching millions of viewers, dcp and MRC have the privilege and responsibility to effect change by creating a more inclusive dialogue in our productions and across the industry."
"Morgan Wallen is a finalist this year based on charting," the statement continued. "As his recent conduct does not align with our core values, we will not be including him on the show in any capacity (performing, presenting, accepting)."
The statement concluded by noting the situation would be evaluated again in the future.
"It is heartening and encouraging to hear that Morgan is taking steps in his anti-racist journey and starting to do some meaningful work," the statement read. "We plan to evaluate his progress and will consider his participation in future shows."
In his apology after using the racial slur, Wallen said he was "embarrassed and sorry."
"I used an unacceptable and inappropriate racial slur that I wish I could take back," he said in a statement to ET at the time. "There are no excuses to use this type of language, ever. I want to sincerely apologize for using the word. I promise to do better.”
After video of the incident was made public, Wallen was suspended indefinitely from his label, Big Loud Records, and dropped from WME, according to multiple reports. Radio stations, including those owned by iHeartMedia, Entercom and Cumulus Media, removed Wallen's music from their playlists.
See more on the fallout in the video below.
The 2021 Billboard Music Awards air Sunday at 8 p.m. ET / 5 p.m. PT on NBC.