Morgan Wallen Banned From Attending 2021 CMA Awards
Morgan Wallen will not be allowed to attend the 2021 CMA Awards or any of the pre-show pageantry, despite being nominated in the Album of the Year category.
The news — as reported by the Los Angeles Times — affirms the Country Music Association's earlier stance that the artist would not be honored or recognized in any sort of way this November, but his collaborative works (i.e., his songs and January release Dangerous: The Double Album, country music's most consumed album of 2021) could be if voters made it so.
Speaking to the Times, CMA CEO Sarah Trahern said she didn't believe anyone had ever been disqualified from the show due to conduct before. "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," she says.
The 2021 CMA Awards will air on ABC on Nov. 10. Less than two weeks later, nominees for the 2022 Grammy Awards — for which Wallen is eligible in multiple categories — will be announced. In 2021, the Recording Academy didn't need to take a stance on Wallen, as he wasn't nominated in any categories and, thus, not expected to be invited to perform or attend.
The Academy of Country Music and the Billboard Music Awards also distanced themselves from him this year, in different ways. While the ACM Awards completely disqualified and disinvited Wallen at the 2021 event, he was nominated — and announced as a winner — at the BBMAs, which are based on chart performance; however, he was barred from attending the show.
Wallen's banishment from these events stems from from his being caught on video using the N-word outside of his home in Nashville in late January. In the days and weeks after TMZ broke the news and shared the video in early February, he was removed from all streaming and radio playlists, and suspended by his record label. Currently, however, he has a Top 40 radio hit with "Sand in My Boots," one of the songs from Dangerous.
Since February, Wallen — the 2020 CMA New Artist of the Year winner — has apologized and said he's sought counseling to address his relationship with alcohol and his understanding of what he did wrong. He'll resume touring this fall.