Morgan Wallen Makes His Return to Billboard Music Awards After 2021 Ban

Videos by American Songwriter

Videos by American Songwriter

This year’s Billboard Music Awards was anything but boring. On top of the drama of who won and who lost—you can find the complete list of winners HERE—there were a few controversial appearances, too. For one, rapper Travis Scott made his first TV appearance since the Astroworld tragedy that killed 10 festival-goers. A second controversial appearance, for different reasons, was that of country singer/songwriter Morgan Wallen.

Wallen performed at the awards ceremony on May 15 just one year after being banned from the show. In 2021, Wallen was not invited to the ceremony after a video of the singer using a racial slur was released by TMZ. After his one-year ban, though, he returned to the Billboard stage and performed a mashup of his songs “Don’t Thank Jesus” and “Wasted on You.”

When Wallen was announced as a performer for the 2022 ceremony, the event producer MRC Live & Alternative, gave this statement: “We oppose discrimination, harassment, or racism of any kind. We believe in treating everyone with dignity and respect. After a thorough review and robust discussions internally and with the artist’s team, in which we found a demonstrated and ongoing commitment to meaningful work and outreach, we extended an invitation to participate in this year’s show.”

In addition to his performance, the singer also won the award for Top Country Male Artist. Pusha T presented the award.

“Man, I’d like to say thank God, thank my fans, I’ve got the best damn fans,” Wallen said in his acceptance speech. “Thank you to my momma for being my date tonight. I wouldn’t be here without you. Thank you to the Billboards for inviting me here. Thank you to my team. Thank you to my family, my friends, to my little boy for inspiring me every day. God bless y’all.”

Photo by: Rich Polk/NBC

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