Wallen is taking the summer off from touring
Morgan Wallen has penned a personal letter to fans to explain his progress and summer plans since being blacklisted by the industry in early February for his use of a racial slur. The nearly four page letter was hand written by the country star and shared on his social media accounts late Tuesday (April 13th) afternoon.
He first thanks fans for their support and expresses his feelings towards making the record-breaking Dangerous: The Double Album.
“When I made the music, it was important to me that I wrote songs that were authentic, & some of them even let you in my story,” he writes. “Before the music came out, I was proud of it. I felt fulfilled. As a musician, that is the best feeling in the world being happy with your music before fans even hear it. If you feel that way, then you can live with the reaction, I guess.”
Wallen addresses the success of the album, which spent its first ten consecutive weeks atop of the Billboard 200 chart, breaking a 34 year old record.
“Then to release this project & watch ya’ll make a country album go 10 consecutive weeks #1 all genre, is literally unheard of,” he continues. “That’s never happened before now from what I’m told. I didn’t even know that record existed to be honest. It wasn’t what I set out to accomplish, but your response has meant so so much to me. I just want you to know how much that means to me, & always will.”
Upon its release, Wallen demolished first day streaming records, becoming Spotify’s biggest all-time first day stream record for a country album and setting the record for the biggest first day and biggest first week for a country album of all-time at Apple Music in just two days. At least six of the ten chart-topping weeks had been without the help of any promotion after major radio chains, video channels, and online outlets pulled his music from its rotations and his label “made the decision to suspend Morgan Wallen’s recording contract indefinitely” after the video surfaced on TMZ.
Many of the stations, including several we spoke with, said at the time that they did not have a timeline on restoring his music to its playlists, however, Cumulus Media and other radio chains have quietly began reinstating his music to their airwaves over the past few weeks with more expecting to join.
A week after the incident, Wallen released a video statement saying he’d be taking time away from the spotlight to work on himself. Today, Wallen updates fans on his progress.
“I wanted to let you guys know that I’ve taken a couple months away & feel like I’ve really worked on myself. I’m proud of the work I’ve put in, & in many ways, thankful to have had the time to do it. I’ve needed this time off. I moved to Nashville at 22. I never really gave myself a chance to survey the man I became during that time. I can already see a big difference between 22-year-old me & 27-year-old me now & the 32-year-old me one day. I will always strive to be better. Not only has this time revealed to me the ways which I want to improve, but it’s also reminded me that I am still very proud of who I am & the man I am becoming.”
Wallen has decided that he will not hit the road this summer to open for Luke Bryan, as planned.
“I’ve found this time away to be very valuable to me in many ways, but I feel like I need a little more it, & therefore, will not be performing tour dates this summer. It means I won’t be playing festivals or the Luke Bryan tour dates. But it’s important to me personally, if you can, still go to these shows & support country music. Country music back &. that’s a beautiful damn thing.”
Wallen’s music surged by more than 300% in the wake of the controversy as fans clap back at cancel culture. Diehards have flocked to iTunes and other streaming outlets to backlash radio for its stance with many even defending his use of the slur. Over the weekend, billboards surfaced in midtown and downtown Nashville supporting Wallen. The fan-funded campaign calls Wallen their “Entertainer of the Year,” a clap at the ACM Awards which disqualified him from this weekend’s awards because of the controversy.
While he doesn’t address those billboards directly, he closes by thanking fans again.
“I’m back in Nashville getting back in the swing of things & you guys can rest assured that I am looking forward to giving you guys what you deserve, especially after all you’ve done for me. My story is far from over & getting back out there to see y’all is all I can think about So just know you’ll be seeing me sooner than later.”