Morgan Wallen Says He Was “Mad” About The Public Reaction To Racial Slur Incident: “I’m Really Not That Guy”

Morgan Wallen country music
Morgan Wallen

2023 was (and is) the year of Morgan Wallen, there’s no doubt about that.

Even though Taylor Swift was named TIME Magazine’s “Person of the Year” today (whatever that means), there is no question that, in music, Morgan dominated pretty much every single aspect of it — from touring, to taking over the radio charts and breaking streaming records, Wallen was an unstoppable force.

And recently, he sat down for a lengthy interview with Billboard in his first big press moment in two years.

Two years is an incredibly long time for an artist to go without speaking to major media of any kind, especially since he’s put out two separate, massive albums relatively within that time frame (Dangerous and One Thing At A Time).

For Morgan to have reached the level of success that he has without doing so only speaks to the power he has as an artist. But there’s more to it than that.

Back in 2021, Morgan was caught on video outside of his Nashville home saying the “N-word,” and of course, the backlash he received was intense, to say the least. He was suspended from his label, banned from country radio, and barred from attending any subsequent awards shows for quite some time after everything blew up.

Even today, it remains a pretty popular topic in country music and the media world in general.

When asked about it in his first major interview in two years, with the incident three years in his rearview, Morgan is reflective and humble in his response, noting how much he’s changed since all of that went down, taking responsibility for his words:

“That person is definitely not the same person I am now… There’s no excuse. I’ve never made an excuse. I never will make an excuse.

I’ve talked to a lot of people, heard stories [about] things that I would have never thought about because I wasn’t the one going through it.”

He explains that part of him was “mad” about the public reaction, though, which was severe and harsh, saying that deep down he knew he wasn’t “that guy,” and using the awful word that he did was a huge mistake and not representative of the kind of person he is:

“And I think, for me, in my heart I was never that guy that people were portraying me to be, so there was a little bit of like, ‘Damn, I’m kind of actually mad about this a little bit because I know I shouldn’t have said this, but I’m really not that guy.’

I put myself in just such a shit spot, you know? Like, ‘You really messed up here, guy.’ If I was that guy, then I wouldn’t have cared.

I wouldn’t have apologized. I wouldn’t have done any of that if I really was that guy that people were saying about me.”

Black country artists like Kane Brown and Jimmie Allen came to his defense, backing up the sentiment that Morgan is not, in fact, racist, but he did make a huge error by using that word — and they also noted the importance of “consequences,” and learning opportunities, as a result of what he said.

In the wake of the incident, Morgan met with several Black leaders including Bebe Winans, 300 Elektra Entertainment chairman and CEO Kevin Liles and Universal Music Group executive VP/Chief People and Inclusion officer Eric Hutcherson.

Morgan also went to rehab for 30-days after the incident, and donated some of the profits (roughly $500,00) from his 2021 Dangerous: The Double Album to BMAC (Black Music Action Coalition).

Morgan says that he had a desire to educate himself after all of that, adding that his process “to learn and try to be better” is an ongoing effort.

And it seems as though most of his fans have moved on from all of it, as Morgan had the highest-grossing country tour of the year by a pretty wide margin.

He’s gearing up for another stadium tour next year, and Morgan also had most-streamed song on both Apple and Spotify with “Last Night,” in addition to earning 5 of the top 10 spots on the year-end Billboard Country Streaming chart and 4 of the top 10 spots on the Hot Country chart.

His One Thing At A Time double album was also the top country album on the charts – right ahead of his Dangerous: The Double Album, which came in at #2 even though it was released back in 2021.

Honestly, he shows no signs of slowing down in 2024, either.

He’s heading back to the studio at some point and is already working on the next album, which I guess he’ll somehow find time for in between sold-out stadium shows across the country.

And if his trajectory continues the way that it’s going right now, a few years down the road, we might just look back and call it the decade of Morgan Wallen.

Morgan Wallen Newly Announced 2024 Tour Dates:

Fri, April 5, 2024 // Indianapolis, IN // Lucas Oil Stadium* % @ !
Fri, May 3, 2024 // Nashville, TN // Nissan Stadium* TBA @ !
Sat, May 4, 2024 // Nashville, TN // Nissan Stadium* TBA @ !
Fri, June 21, 2024 // Minneapolis, MN // U.S. Bank Stadium* % @ =
Fri, June 28, 2024 // Denver, CO // Empower Field at Mile High* – @ =
Fri, July 12, 2024 // Tampa, FL // Raymond James Stadium* ~ @ =
Fri, July 19, 2024 // Charlotte, NC // Bank of America Stadium* % @ =
Fri, July 26, 2024 // Arlington, TX // AT&T Stadium* * @ =
Fri, Aug 2, 2024 // Kansas City, MO // GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium* % @ <
Fri, Aug 9, 2024 // Las Vegas, NV // Allegiant Stadium* % @ <

You can check out the full list of previously announced dates HERE.

“Last Night”

A beer bottle on a dock



A beer bottle on a dock