Piet Levy

| Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Morgan Wallen was suspended from the label after using racial fraud

The Academy of Country Music said it would “stop” Morgan Wallen’s eligibility for this year’s awards ceremony.


Morgan Wallen’s fast-growing career crashed and burned this week after a video of the country artist saying the N-word was circulating Tuesday night.

His record label put his deal on hold indefinitely, radio stations and streaming services pulled his songs from playlists, and his booking agency cut ties with him.

But Wallen is expected to lead Country Thunder Wisconsin in Twin Lakes and Country Jam USA in Eau Claire in July. He is also scheduled to direct Country Thunder Festivals in Iowa in June, Florida in September, and Arizona in October.

“We don’t have a statement about Morgan Wallen at the moment,” wrote Gerry Krochak, director of marketing and media at Country Thunder Music Festivals, to the Sentinel journal on Thursday.

“At this point, he’s still scheduled to play,” Country Jam USA general manager Kathy Wright told Journal Sentinel on Friday. “No decisions have been made. There are contracts and this is not a decision that can be made overnight.”

The rest of the music industry made overnight decisions to blame Wallen – who was named New Artist of the Year at the CMA Awards in November and has had album # 1 on the Billboard 200 “Dangerous” for three weeks: The Double Album. “

In fact, Cumulus Media didn’t even wait overnight to get Wallen’s songs. Variety reported that the policy was mailed to programming directors for the company’s 400+ broadcasters late Tuesday evening, not long after TMZ first shared Wallen’s video last Sunday and yelled at a friend to “take care of it.” … (arc), “apparently refers to someone else in his group.

From there, the precipitation spread. A spokesman for iHeartMedia – the largest radio owner in the United States with more than 800 stations – said on Wednesday the company had taken Wallen’s music out of rotation. Entercom, another major radio player, did the same, and a review of playlists of country stations by the Journal Sentinel across the state on Wednesday found that Wallen songs were not given airtime.

Wallen is also noticeably absent from Spotify’s leading country playlist, “Hot Country”, as well as Apple Music’s “Today’s Country” – despite having five of the top 10 songs on Billboard’s “Hot Country Songs” chart.

On Wednesday, Wallen’s record deal with Big Loud Records was suspended indefinitely with the support of Republic Records, Big Loud’s partner on Dangerous.

The Academy of Country Music announced Wednesday that it would “stop” Wallen’s “engagement and eligibility” at the 56th ACM Awards in April. Both the Country Music Association and the cable network CMT announced that they would remove Wallen from all platforms. Wallen’s booking agency, William Morris Endeavor, also severed relationships.

Wallen, Bobby Bones, Maren Morris, Jason Isbell, Sturgill Simpson, Mickey Guyton, Kelsea Ballerini, and others condemned big names in the country music world.

Wallen himself apologized in a statement to TMZ on Tuesday: “I used an unacceptable and inappropriate racial fraud that I would like to take back. There are no excuses for ever using this type of language. I sincerely want to support the use of the word sorry. I promise to do better. ”

But Wallen has released other Mea Culpas for recent scandals after he was arrested for public poisoning and disorderly behavior outside Kid Rocks Bar in downtown Nashville last spring, and after speaking before a scheduled Saturday Night Live performance in October disregarded coronavirus security precautions fall, with videos of Wallen celebrating maskless with strangers in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. “SNL” booted him from the show, but switched him on in December.

Wallen didn’t address his racist arc on any of his social media channels until Friday morning. Comments on Wallen and Big Loud’s Instagram accounts have been restricted.

Journalist: Morgan Wallen has crossed the line with racial fraud

A Washington, DC-based music journalist says country star Morgan Wallen crossed a line following a racist reckoning in country music after a video surfaced calling a racist slur. (3 February)


And there was no mention of the controversy on the websites or social media accounts for Country Jam USA and Country Thunder Wisconsin, which are still promoting Wallen’s headlining performances on July 15 and 16, respectively.

It’s two out of four shows listed on Wallen’s website and Facebook page for 2021, although those websites don’t currently list the Country Thunder pieces in Iowa, Arizona and Florida that were announced earlier this week.

He has also booked for the Tailgates N ‘Tallboys Festival in Peoria, Illinois on June 3rd and the Country Concert Festival in Fort Loramie, Ohio on July 10th. On the festival grounds, walls are still listed in their lineups.

Wallen was also booked to open for Luke Bryan’s “Proud to Be Right Here” tour, which was originally scheduled for 2020 and has been postponed to 2021 due to the pandemic.

This tour was supposed to end on Milwaukee’s Summer Festival on June 25, but on Tuesday officials postponed the festival to September, saying they would try to reschedule this show and seven others previously for their largest venue, the American Family Insurance Amphitheater , had been announced.

But a spokeswoman for the summer festival told Journal Sentinel that Wallen was actually taken off the tour months ago and that Wallen would not play with Bryan at the Milwaukee Festival should Bryan become available in September. The Bryan dates are also not listed on Wallen’s tour or Facebook events page.

Requests for confirmation to Bryan’s publicists that Wallen was no longer part of the tour have yet to be returned.

Dave Paulson of the Tennessean contributed to this report.

CONNECTED: Country Thunder Wisconsin announced the line-up in July, hours after Milwaukee’s Summer Festival was postponed to September

CONNECTED: Will Morgan Wallen’s Racist Outbreak Really Change Music Row?

Contact Piet at (414) 223-5162 or plevy@journalsentinel.com. Follow him on Twitter at @pietlevy or Facebook at facebook.com/PietLevyMJS.

Piet also talks to Jordan Lee about concerts, local music and more about “TAP’d In”. Listen to it on WYMS-FM (88.9) at 8 a.m. on Thursdays or wherever you get your podcasts.

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