Morgan Wallen Wins at 2021 Billboard Music Awards Despite Being Barred From Attending

Morgan Wallen's success on the music charts was impossible for the 2021 Billboard Music Awards to ignore, even if he was banned from performing during Sunday night's show. Wallen won three of the awards he was nominated for, with all three wins announced before the broadcast. A video of the 28-year-old Country star using the n-word surfaced in February, leading to him being declared ineligible at many awards shows. However, sales of his music skyrocketed in the wake of the controversy.

Wallen won Top Country Artist, Top Country Male Artist, and Top Country Album for Dangerous: The Double Album. His two singles "Chasin' You" and "More Than My Hometown" were both nominated for Top Country Song, but Gabby Barrett's "I Hope" was the winner. Wallen was also nominated for Top Song Sales Artist, but the award went to K-pop group BTS.

Back in April, Dick Clark Productions, which produces the Billboard Music Awards, announced Wallen would not be allowed to perform on the show, even though he was a finalist for multiple awards. While most awards shows are based on votes from fans, experts, or industry members, the Billboard Music Awards are based on sales tracked by Billboard, MRC Data, and other data partners.

"Morgan Wallen is a finalist this year based on charting. 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)," DCP said in a statement. "It is heartening and encouraging to hear that Morgan is taking steps in his anti-racist journey and starting to do some meaningful work. We plan to evaluate his progress and will consider his participation in future shows."

Back in early February, TMZ published a video of Wallen and his friends walking to his Nashville home on the night of Jan. 31. In the video, Wallen can be heard using the n-word. Wallen did apologize, but several major radio networks pulled his music and he was deemed ineligible at several awards shows. His fans continued to support him though, and Dangerous: The Double Album spent 12 weeks at the top of Billboard's Top Country Albums chart and 10 weeks at No. 1 on the all-genre Billboard 200.


Wallen's Billboard Music Award wins are his first since the scandal. He could add more awards to his collection in the fall though since he will be eligible for some awards at the Country Music Association's 2021 CMA Awards in the fall. He can be nominated for Single, Song, Album, Musical Event, and Music Video of the Year, so his collaborators could still be honored. He will not be eligible for the major solo awards, Male Vocalist of the Year and Entertainer of the Year. He has a good chance to win at least one CMA Award, thanks to Dangerous, "7 Summers" and "More Than My Hometown."