Morgan Wallen is a 2021 Billboard Music Awards finalist, but you won’t see him during the NBC broadcast next month. The BBMAs have announced they won’t be including him, which means he won’t be on hand to perform, present or accept any awards.
The unusual statement came before any nominees, performers or details about the show were announced. Dick Clark Productions released a statement that reads, in part:
“Morgan Wallen is a finalist this year based on charting. As his recent conduct does not align with our core values, we will not be including him on the show in any capacity (performing, presenting, accepting).
“It is heartening and encouraging to hear that Morgan is taking steps in his anti-racist journey and starting to do some meaningful work. We plan to evaluate his progress and will consider his participation in future shows.”
DCP produced the 2021 ACM Awards in April. The ACMs also announced that Wallen would not be a part of the show, going as far as to disqualify him from any of the industry voted categories. That announcement was made within days of video surfacing that showed Wallen using the N-word in front of his house. It came as his music was being removed from radio and streaming playlists, and he was losing other important contracts.
He has since apologized and promised to better himself.
The BBMAs are not voted on like the ACMs, however. The first part of DCP’s statement explains that best:
“Unique among awards shows, Billboard Music Awards (BBMAs) finalists are determined by performance on the Billboard charts, and are not chosen by a voting committee or membership organization. BBMA finalists and winners are based on key fan interactions with music (including album and digital song sales, streaming, radio airplay, social engagement), tracked by Billboard and its data partners, including MRC Data.”
Nominees for the 2021 BBMAs were announced on Thursday morning (April 29). Wallen is nominated in five categories, including Top Country Artist and Top Country Song (two songs). Gabby Barrett is country music’s most nominated artist with nine nominations.
“With our content reaching millions of viewers, dcp and MRC have the privilege and responsibility to effect change by creating a more inclusive dialogue in our productions and across the industry,” the statement continues.
The 27-year-old was nominated in two categories during the 2020 Billboard Music Awards, but did not win.