Country Newcomer Ashlie Amber Credits Morgan Wallen With Bringing The Black Community Into Country Music: “Opened Doors To A Demographic Of People That Love Music”

Ashlie Amber Morgan Wallen
Matt Paskert

By all metrics, Morgan Wallen is the biggest artist in country music right now.

Not only did Morgan have an insane 22 songs on the year-end Billboard Hot Country Songs chart, he had the highest-grossing country tour of the year by a wide margin, and had the top song on the all-genre Billboard Hot 100 chart.

But Morgan still remains a hot topic in country music.

When Spotify Wrapped dropped a couple of weeks ago, people were quick to take to social media and shame anybody who had Morgan Wallen on their year-end wrap up. And of course he’s still battling the criticism from those who feel that he never suffered the consequences of his viral racial slur incident in 2021.

But there’s no doubt that Morgan is bringing people into country music like nobody else can right now.

Ashlie Amber, who is black herself, was featured on My Kind of Country, the singing competition featuring Reese Witherspoon and Kacey Musgraves. And while she grew up listening to powerhouse women like Whitney Houston and Shania Twain, she credits Morgan Wallen for opening the door for other Black people to get into country music:

“What he’s doing with music, and the fact that he’s able to incorporate so much R&B and so much hip-hop over his country sound, is incredible because he’s opened the doors to a demographic of people that love music, that love to stream it, that love to go to concerts.”

And she says that when it comes to Black artists, Morgan is proving that there’s no right way to make music:

“I am allowed to have a song with 808s and trap on it, but I can also come down and just have banjo and guitar and all of the core country traditional sounds.”

And regardless of what’s happened in the past, Ashlie says the Black community has embraced Wallen in a way that few country artists have experienced in recent years:

“I applaud him for bringing in a new demographic and making country music cool…

I think it takes a very special type of person to be able to cross into that demographic. And people can see authenticity and fans can read through that.”

While Ashlie is an up-and-coming artist in country music herself, she’s taken inspiration from not only the current stars like Morgan Wallen, but also some of the legends of the past in her music.

The powerhouse vocalist recently dropped an incredible cover of Tim McGraw’s classic “Live Like You Were Dying,” a song that holds special meaning to her after she lost her father when he was just 43 years old.

And ultimately, she believes it’s a good thing that there are people like Morgan Wallen who are bringing more Black people – both artists and fans – into the country music family.

“I’m team Morgan.”

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