The CMA Awards will not allow Morgan Wallen to attend, perform or accept an award at the show, including not walking the red carpet, despite his nomination, The Los Angeles Times reported on Thursday.
Billboard.com has confirmed the ban with the Country Music Association.
“This is the first time in the history of the CMA, to my knowledge, anyone has ever been disqualified for conduct,” CMA CEO Sarah Trahern told the LA Times. “Honouring him as an individual this year is not right, and he will not be allowed on the red carpet, on our stage, or be celebrated in any way.”
That leaves the question of who should accept if Wallen wins or if his team would stand in solidarity with their absent leader. His co-nominees for the project, which is this year’s biggest seller across all genres, are producers Dave Cohen, Matt Dragstrem, Jacob Durrett, Charlie Handsome and Joey Moi. Moi is also nominated as the mix engineer on the project.
Wallen has gained considerable notoriety for several incidents. He was arrested for disorderly conduct after being ejected from Kid Rock’s steakhouse in Nashville in May 2020, and was suspended from a scheduled Saturday Night Live performance that October after video evidence surfaced that showed Wallen was not adhering to NBC’s COVID-19 protocols.
In February 2021, a video was released that captured Wallen mouthing a racial slur. The incident resulted in a suspension from his record label and removal of his music from several major radio networks in the United States. Despite the controversy, Wallen’s music experienced a surge in commercial success following the incident.
Wallen is an American country music singer and songwriter. Born in Tennessee, he competed in the sixth season of ‘The Voice’, originally as a member of Usher’s team, but later as a member of Adam Levine’s team. After being eliminated in the playoffs of that season, he signed to Panacea Records, releasing his debut EP, Stand Alone, in 2015.
A representative for Wallen and Big Loud declined to comment to Billboard.com.