Not that anybody really gives a shit about the Billboard Music Awards, but the off-air winners were announced this afternoon.
So far, Morgan Wallen is leading the pack in the country music categories with three wins: Top Country Album, Top Country Artist, and Top Country Male Artist, while Gabby Barrett, who led all of country music with nine nominations, has won two.
When the nominees were initially announced, the Billboard Music Awards announced that Morgan Wallen would not be allowed to participate after his racial slur incident this past February.
However, since their nomination process is based on chart performance and not a committee/member vote, he had to be nominated.
The released the following statement regarding Morgan:
“Unique among awards shows, Billboard Music Awards (BBMA) finalists are determined by performance on the Billboard Charts, and are not chosen by a voting committee or membership organization.
BBMA finalists and winners are based on key fan interactions with music (including album and digital song sales, streaming, radio airplay, social engagement), tracked by Billboard and its data partners, including MRC Data.
With our content reaching millions of viewers, DCP and MRC have the privilege and responsibility to effect change by creating a more inclusive dialogue in our productions and across the industry.
Morgan Wallen is a finalist this year based on charting. As his recent conduct does not align with our core values, we will not be including him on the show in any capacity (performing, presenting, accepting).
It is heartening and encouraging to hear that Morgan is taking steps in his anti-racist journey and starting to do some meaningful work. We plan to evaluate his progress and will consider his participation in future shows.”
Fans rallied behind Morgan after the BBMAs announced the participation ban, commissioning a Billboard along the highway near the Microsoft Theater, the venue hosting tonight’s awards ceremony.
The 2021 Billboard Music Awards kicks off tonight at 8 p.m. ET.