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This Country Star Is Now Banned From the Billboard Music Awards

Country singer Morgan Wallen is continuing to face the consequences for his racist behavior.

This country star is continuing to face the music. This week, the Billboard Music Awards banned Morgan Wallen from the 2021 awards show due to his use of a racist slur in a video that surfaced in February. Wallen is nominated for six awards at this year's ceremony—the nominations are determined simply by the music's place on the Billboard charts—but he will not be allowed to attend the show, perform, or accept any awards should he win.

This decision is just the latest consequence Wallen has faced for his racist language, and it's also not the first scandal he's caused in recent months. Read on to find out more about the fallout for the 27-year-old singer, and for more stars who've been banned from other programs, check out The One Guest Jimmy Kimmel Banned From His Show.

Wallen was caught on camera saying the N-word.

Morgan Wallen at the Academy of Country Music Awards in April 2018
Kathy Hutchins /

A video of Wallen saying the N-word was posted on TMZ on Feb. 2. It was recorded when Wallen was returning home with friends and causing a scene after a night out on Jan. 31. He said the slur in reference to one of the people he was with.

Wallen issued a statement of apology to TMZ. "I'm embarrassed and sorry," he said. "I used an unacceptable and inappropriate racial slur that I wish I could take back. There are no excuses to use this type of language, ever. I want to sincerely apologize for using the word. I promise to do better."

The singer then apologized again in a five-minute video posted to his Instagram on Feb. 10.

For more stars who've lost work due to similar behavior, check out 6 Celebrities Who Were Fired After Being Accused of Racism.

The Billboard Music Awards banned Wallen because he "does not align" with the show's values.

Morgan Wallen performing in Nashville, Tennessee in June 2019
Debby Wong /

In a statement released on Apr. 29, the production company behind the Billboard Music Awards, Dick Clark Productions, announced that Wallen would not be involved in this year's show, which will air live on May 23 on NBC.

"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)," the statement reads.

Dick Clark Productions notes that Wallen's status with the show could change in the future. "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 statement continues. "We plan to evaluate his progress and will consider his participation in future shows."

Regarding the steps he is taking, Wallen said in his Instagram video that he "accepted some invitations from some amazing Black organizations, executives, and leaders to engage in some very real and honest conversations." He also explained, "This week I heard first-hand some personal stories from Black people that honestly shook me."

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The Billboard Music Awards wasn't the first show to ban him.

Morgan Wallen at the Academy of Country Music Awards in April 2019
Kathy Hutchins /

Prior to being banned from the Billboard Music Awards, Wallen was excluded from another awards show. In February, the Academy of Country Music announced that Wallen would be ineligible at its awards show, which took place in April.

As for other consequences, Wallen's music was pulled from many radio stations and streaming services—at least for a time—and he was suspended indefinitely from his record label, Big Loud Records, as reported by NPR.

For another celebrity who's been shut out for bad behavior, Rosie O'Donnell Reveals the One Guest She Banned From Her Show.

The racial slur video was not Wallen's only recent scandal.

Morgan Wallen appearing in an "SNL" sketch with Pete Davidson, Jason Bateman, and Bowen Yang
Saturday Night Live/YouTube

Wallen also faced public repercussions for another incident that took place in Oct. 2020. The "More Than My Hometown" singer was caught on camera in an Alabama bar during the pandemic, not wearing a mask, and kissing more than one woman.

This took place a week before he was scheduled to appear as the musical guest on Saturday Night Live, and Wallen was removed from the episode due to his behavior. "I got a call from the show letting me know I will no longer be able to play," he said in an Instagram video, according to NPR. "I respect the show's decision, because I know that I put them in jeopardy and I take ownership for this."

Wallen was then re-scheduled by SNL and appeared on the show in December. He participated in a sketch making fun of his Alabama bar outing.

And for another celebrity who made waves on SNL, This Was the Worst Behaved "SNL" Guest Ever, Bill Hader Says.

Lia Beck
Lia Beck is a writer living in Richmond, Virginia. In addition to Best Life, she has written for Refinery29, Bustle, Hello Giggles, InStyle, and more. Read more
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