Morgan Wallen's 2021 album Dangerous finished out the year as the no. 1 streamed album across all genres among Billboard's charts. Despite being arguably one of country music's most controversial figures over the last year or so –– calls to "cancel" the singer followed the entertainer since he was caught on a viral video using the N-word at one of his friends –– his streaming numbers are still looking very strong as he preps for his "Dangerous Tour."
Deadline reports Billboard's year-end report, which looks at numbers from Jan. 1, 2021 through Dec. 31, 2021, shows Wallen's Dangerous: The Double Album listed as the no. 1 country album of the year and the most popular album across all genres earning 3.2 million equivalent album units over the year.
The feat marks a major record for the country star, especially considering the backlash he's faced throughout 2021 due to the ongoing controversy. The Feb. 2020 video of Wallen using a racial slur prompted a large race reckoning within country music and inspired many entities within the community including radio stations to "cancel" Morgan Wallen's music. Wallen was also banned from appearing or performing at last year's Country Music Association's Awards despite his project being nominated for Album of the Year. "This is the first time in the history of the CMA, to my knowledge, anyone has ever been disqualified for conduct," CMA CEO Sarah Trahern told the LA Times at the time. "Honoring him as an individual this year is not right, and he will not be allowed on the red carpet, on our stage, or be celebrated in any way."
Wallen has since apologized a number of times for his use of the racial slur. He appeared on Good Morning America alongside Michael Strahan and was taught the history of the word. "We say dumb stuff together," the singer told Strahan. "In our minds, it was just playful. That sounds ignorant, but that's really where it came from. It was wrong." Wallen used the word while speaking to a drunk friend (who is white). "We were all clearly drunk. I was asking his girlfriend to take care of him." He added: "I think I was just ignorant about it. I don't think I ever sat down and said this is right or this is wrong." Wallen is scheduled to start his "Dangerous Tour" Feb. 3, 2022.