Hundreds of radio stations have dropped one of country music's biggest stars after he was recorded using a racial slur over the weekend, and now his label has suspended him. TMZ has the video, filmed by one of Morgan Wallen's Nashville neighbors, in which the singer arrives home after a night out. The 27-year-old is heard telling someone to look after his friend, whom he refers to using the N-word. "I'm embarrassed and sorry," the former contestant on The Voice says, per TMZ. "I used an unacceptable and inappropriate racial slur that I wish I could take back. There are no excuses to use this type of language, ever." He adds, "I promise to do better." But some aren't giving him that chance. More:
- Big Loud Records tweeted Wednesday that Wallen's recording contract has been suspended indefinitely. Republic Records, which the AP reports Wallen is co-signed to, says it is on board with Big Loud's decision.
- Cumulus Media, the second largest radio chain in the country, has directed its 400-plus stations to stop playing Wallen's music. Ditto No. 1 radio chain iHeartMedia. His songs have also been scrubbed from Spotify, Pandora, SiriusXM, and Apple Music playlists, per the BBC.
- Variety sees this as a "stunning" fall for "the most successful recording artist in any genre at the moment." Wallen was named best new country artist at the CMA Awards, and his sophomore release, Dangerous: The Double Album, is about to spend its fourth week atop the Billboard 200 chart—a 20-year first for a country artist. It also broke the first-week streaming record for a country album, per Vulture.
- While some say the incident diminishes efforts to diversify the genre, "The Middle" singer Maren Morris argues "it actually IS representative of [Nashville]." "We keep them rich and protected at all costs with no recourse," she says in a tweet.
- She and Mickey Guyton, the first Black female solo country artist to receive a Grammy nomination, say this isn't the first time Wallen has used the N-word. Variety notes he's used it on social media while quoting rap lyrics.
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