A lifelong music lover, Morgan Wallen grew up playing piano and violin. The Tennessee native even turned down a college baseball scholarship to continue to pursue his dreams of making it big in the country scene.
In 2014, Wallen competed on season 6 of The Voice, starting off on Usher‘s team and later ending up being mentored by Maroon 5 singer Adam Levine. He was eliminated from the reality show during the playoffs and got signed to Panacea Records, the label that released his 2015 EP, Stand Alone.
The American Music Awards nominee signed to Big Loud records in 2016 and released his debut album, If I Know Me, two years later. Before his sophomore album, Dangerous: The Double Album, was released in 2021, Wallen won the Country Music Association’s New Artist of the Year award.
However, Wallen’s rise to the top of the charts hasn’t come without controversy. In May 2020, he was arrested in Nashville for disorderly conduct and public intoxication. Five months later — shortly before he was set to make his first-ever appearance on Saturday Night Live — he was slammed on social media for partying maskless in Alabama amid the coronavirus pandemic. The NBC sketch show replaced Wallen with Jack White, but invited the “Wasted on You” crooner back as the musical guest in December 2020.
In February 2021, Wallen was suspended by his record label after video surfaced of him saying the N-word. He issued a public apology for using the racial slur, but was subsequently removed from Apple Music and Spotify playlists, barred from major country radio stations and erased from major CMT platforms.