Morgan Wallen wins 3 Billboard Music Awards after not being invited to the show after racial slur controversy

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Morgan Wallen earned three trophies at the 2021 Billboard Music Awards despite not being invited to accept them.

The 28-year-old country singer was awarded top country male artist, top country artist and top country album on Sunday, but his name and presence were kept out of the broadcast following a controversial video that emerged earlier this year that saw him use the N-word and other expletives. 

Although Wallen has since apologized for his use of the racial slur, he was still dropped by his talent agency and had his songs pulled from the airwaves. Among the other consequences of his use of the racial slur was that Dick Clark Productions, which produces the awards, announced in April that he would not be welcomed at the 2021 show. 

However, the Billboard Music Awards stopped short of revoking his nominations given that, despite the controversy, Wallen’s album sales continued to rise. The organization noted that, unlike other awards shows, accolades are based on raw numbers from performance on the Billboard charts rather than any kind of voting committee.

Morgan Wallen was awarded three Billboard Music Awards.

“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),” read a statement at the time (via Billboard). 

The statement continued: “With our content reaching millions of viewers, [Dick Clark Productions] and MRC [Data] have the privilege and responsibility to effect change by creating a more inclusive dialogue in our productions and across the industry.”

The statement from Dick Clark Productions also noted that Wallen has apologized, but stopped short of either accepting it or inferring that it was enough for him have a presence at the awards. 

“It is heartening and encouraging to hear that Morgan is taking steps in his anti-racist journey and starting to do some meaningful work,” the production company concluded. “We plan to evaluate his progress and will consider his participation in future shows.”

Us Weekly notes that, despite winning the three awards, Wallen was not discussed during the show. His wins were merely announced online.

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