Last night, he was the big winner at the 2023 Billboard Music Awards, sweeping the night with 11 trophies, including Top Male Artist, Top Hot 100 Artist, Top Billboard 200 Album, Top Hot 100 Song, and more.
It was easily the most wins out of any other artist, and yes, he even beat Taylor Swift with that number, as she came in right behind him with 10 wins.
Morgan took home trophies for the aforementioned three categories, in addition to Top Streaming Songs Artist, Top Country Artist, Top Country Male Artist, Top Country Touring Artist, Top Country Album, Top Streaming Song and Top Country Song with his mega hit “Last Night.”
Of course, we knew it was likely going to be a big night for country music, as Morgan along with Zach Bryan and Luke Combstopped the list of nominations after dominating the Billboard charts all year long.
Morgan performed his song “98 Braves,” from his record-breaking One Thing At A Time album, and also took a shot at the CMA Awards during his acceptance speech for all 11 awards.
Just a few weeks ago, he left one of country music’s biggest award ceremonies empty-handed, despite being nominated for three awards, including Entertainer of the Year alongside Luke Combs, Chris Stapleton, Carrie Underwood and the winner of the category, Lainey Wilson.
Of course, his fans were not happy with the snub, especially considering the monster year he’s had with one of the biggest tours in country music the past couple years, and recently announced his 2024 One Night At A Time stadium tour (where he’ll be playing two nights on each stop).
He’s also had one of the best-selling albums of the year with One Thing At a Time, and has had three #1 singles this year (to go along with his three from 2022).
“Last Night” was Billboard’s top streamed song and a massive, multi-week #1 hit on the all-genre chart, and these awards are based on numbers and metrics and less on voting and how much labels are willing to shell out, so in a certain sense, it does feel a bit more “fair.”
And Morgan was willing to let everyone know his apparent displeasure with the CMA’s, saying in his speech that he came home “empty-handed” at the last awards show he went to, and this time, he doesn’t have “enough hands for them all”:
“You know, like the song says, you win some you lose some. And last award show I went to, we came home empty handed, and this one, I don’t have enough hands for them all.
So either way, I promise I’m gonna stay the same regardless if I come home with 10 or 0. I’m gonna give y’all my all every single night, every single time I go into the studio.
Thank you, all these awards are really for my fans, so thank you guys so much. Thank you. You took a boy from east Tennessee driving a two-door Toyota Tacoma and turned me into one of Billboard’s top artists, so God bless y’all.”
It’s hard to blame him for being a little bit upset… like him or not, no one is a bigger or hotter name in the music industry right now, and it’s kind of mind blowing that Morgan has been essentially excluded from winning major awards within country music’s own mainstream associations (aside from a couple ACM Awards). Morgan did win the CMA Award for New Artist of the Year back in 2019, as well.
He also had rumors swirling over the weekend after he posted a cryptic Instagram story last night that simply said:
“I guess Country’s Cool Now?”
Some thought it might be shade towards Lainey Wilson for some reason, especially after the queen of bell-bottom country beat him out for Entertainer of the Year at the aforementioned CMA Awards, but more than likely, I have a feeling they have a collab or something of the sort coming our way.
Morgan fittingly performed “’98 Braves” from Atlanta’s Truist Park, home of the Atlanta Braves baseball team, during the BBMA’s, which also featured ’98 Braves pitchers John Smoltz and Tom Glavine in the audience.
They even introduced Morgan when he accepted his 11 trophies following the performance, and you can watch the whole speech here: