CMT Awards: Morgan Wallen Performs in Wake of Recent 'SNL' Controversy

Morgan Wallen stepped back out onto the stage at the 2020 CMT Awards in Nashville on Wednesday night. The 27-year-old found himself in some controversy after being removed from his scheduled performance on Saturday Night Live on Oct. 10. Videos surfaced of him partying around the University of Alabama without a mask. The moment that never was would have marked his debut on the program and likely would have provided a substantial boost to a rapidly-growing resume that includes his latest chart-topper, “7 Summers.” SNL ended up replacing Wallen with Jack White.

Nearly two weeks later, Wallen was able to put that slip-up past him with his return to the stage at the CMTs. Wallen tapped into his "Chasin' You" hit song to win over the audience. He performed on a circular stage outdoors surrounded by lights and bottles of wine that were strung with white lights. One fan, in particular, was pumped to see him singing, "Our hometown boy @MorganWallen is killing it! Sneedville is proud of you as are the rest of us here in [Tennessee]." All of this comes in anticipation of Wallen potentially taking him one of the more prominent awards of the evening, that being the Male Video of the Year for “Chasin’ You.”

Wallen was the first to reveal that SNL had dropped him from the show ahead of his performance. He told his fans he was getting ready for his first time stepping out onto the iconic show’s stage when he got a call from the show that he would no longer be playing due to breaking COVID-19 protocols. “I am not positive for COVID, but my actions this past weekend were pretty shortsighted.” He didn’t show any disdain for the network, admitting he put the show “in jeopardy” with his decision. He issued an apology to all involved, including his fans, whom he said he let down.

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This instance proved to be one of the few black marks on an otherwise banner year for Wallen. He took home the Best New Country Artist at the iHeartRadio Music Awards earlier in the year and was nominated for the same award at both the Academy of Music Awards and the upcoming Country Music Association Awards. He also picked up nominations for Top Country Album and Top Country Song (Whiskey Glasses) at the Billboard Music Awards.