Diddy is un-canceling the canceled.
At least that’s what he’s attempting to do with Morgan Wallen‘s performance at the Billboard Music Awards.
If you missed it, Morgan was announced as a performer at the show this weekend, the first time he’ll perform at an awards show since he came under fire in February of last year after the controversy surrounding the leaked N-word video.
MRC Live & Alternative (which produces the BBMAs) said they had a “thorough review” ahead of making the decision to book him for the show, releasing a statement that reads, in part:
“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.”
And now Sean “Diddy” Combs, who is both hosting and serving as the executive producer for the show, is speaking out on the decision to allow Morgan and Travis Scott, another entertainer who’s come under a lot of heat lately for his role in the Astroworld tragedy, to perform on the awards show:
“The mood of the show is about love and forgiveness. As a musical family, none of us are saints; none of us are without things that happen to them in life. So one of the things I’m doing directly is un-canceling the canceled.
That’s breaking news because people haven’t been about uncanceling. But canceling is a trend that needs to stop.”
For Diddy, it’s about giving people who have made a mistake a second chance:
“Morgan [used the N-word] while talking to his boy. People make mistakes. Now we’re moving on with love and respect for everybody that was hurt or affected. It’s time to forgive.
To have Morgan and Travis be able to come back and touch the stage again with the mindset of getting a second chance at life. Everybody in the room is getting a second chance at life, you know, because we’re back inside with no masks on. We need love and I’m excited about celebrating that.”
Of course it’s easy to argue that Morgan’s been “un-canceled” for awhile now, with his album topping the charts for about a million weeks in a row and his Dangerous tour selling out pretty much everywhere he goes.
And earlier this year, Morgan won an ACM Award for Album of the Year during his first appearance at an awards show since the controversy.
The Billboard Music Awards, though, will be the first time he’s taken the stage as a performer at an awards show since the racial slur incident, so I guess that’s one way to look at it.
Either way, you can tune in to see Morgan and all of the other performances this Sunday, May 15 on NBC.
And just because this is one of the best songs I think he’s ever released:
Eric Church Opens Up About His Friendship With Morgan Wallen
Eric Church and Morgan have formed a solid friendship over the last year or two.
From golfing and playing shows together, Eric (who Morgan has called “the best fucking country music singer that ever lived”) has become a mentor to Morgan since he’s found himself in all sorts of trouble after his quick rise to country music superstardom.
Eric recently sat down with Lon Helton of Country Countdown USA to discuss his friendship with Morgan, among other things, saying that they click because he’s so genuine:
“There are a lot of these younger guys that I’ve become friends with. With Morgan, we talk weekly. The thing I like about him is he’s a genuine person, and real honest.
We enjoy spending time together. We go fishing, we’ve written songs, and it’s become a neat friendship for me.”
In terms of advice, Eric told Morgan he should allow himself a little bit of leeway in terms of his actions, but added that he still needs to set some boundaries in order to really become successful:
“I just told him to keep it about the music. A lot of people told him to keep it between the lines, and I told him ‘Screw the lines, keep it between the buoys. Lines are too tight. Let’s do buoys.’
He’s doing very well. I think anyone who spends time with him will get a genuine person, and I appreciate that.”
Eric also discussed his decision to cancel an arena show in San Antonio, Texas, so he could take his kids to the Duke North Carolina Final Four game. Of course, there were varied opinions about the decision, and it ultimately became a national news story.
Eric has a new, free show scheduled for the fans that he canceled on, and thankfully, he was (mostly) vindicated for the decision after Carolina ended up winning.
He noted that the Tar Heels:
“Saved my bacon by winning.”
Truer words have never been spoken…
Eric and Morgan most recently performed “Quittin’ Time” and “Smoke A Little Smoke” at Morgan’s Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena show: