The Voice: Morgan Wallen No Longer Banned From Country Music Radio

The Voice alum Morgan Wallen is being played again on country radio after being banned for several months following the release of a video that captured him using a racial slur. The country music singer got his start as a contestant on the NBC singing competition series back in season 6, which aired in 2014. He auditioned for Voice coaches Blake Shelton, Adam Levine, Shakira and Usher with Howie Day’s “Collide.” Only Shakira and Usher turned their chairs for him. Wallen ended up choosing the “DJ Got Us Fallin’ In Love” singer as his coach. During The Battles Round 2, Wallen lost his Battle but was stolen by Levine. He ended up being eliminated in the Playoffs.

Despite that early exit from The Voice, Wallen has found a lot of success in the music industry. He released an EP in 2015, and his debut album, If I Know Me, came out in 2018. His sophomore album, Dangerous: The Double Album, which was released back in January, spent seven weeks at the top of the Billboard 200 chart. But over the past year, Wallen has been in the news for all the wrong reasons. Leading up to his scheduled appearance on Saturday Night Live last October, The Voice alum was caught violating COVID-19 guidelines by partying maskless at a bar. His SNL appearance was re-scheduled for December. Then a video was released online earlier this year showing him using a racial slur. As a result, his music was pulled from country radio and temporarily removed from some streaming services. His record label ended up suspending him, and he was banned from some music award shows. Despite the scandal, his fans stuck by him, as evidenced by a surge in his album sales.

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According to Variety, Wallen’s music is slowly being added back to country radio after being banned for about four months. As one radio executive said, “There was no fanfare at all when people started adding it back in. It’s been completely subdued and unnoticed. It’s like a soft opening.” Individual stations owned by such companies as iHeartRadio and Cox Media are allowed to decide for themselves what to do with Wallen’s music. “If [they’re] comfortable with putting his music on the radio and think the guy has been on the sidelines long enough, that’s [their] call,” the executive added.

The radio stations are “not [making] a big deal” about Wallen’s return to the airwaves. “It’s a thing that people are going to do quietly and not want to make a lot of noise about,” another insider explained. “It’s like, have him blend back into the mosaic of the thing.” It appears that this decision to lift The Voice alum’s ban stems from not just the passage of time since the scandal first emerged but also the “reasonable signals coming from [Wallen’s] world that he’s dealing with his challenges,” both with racial sensitivity and substance abuse. Even his record label has done away with his suspension.

It’s not surprising that Wallen is being welcomed back to country music. It’s clear his fans don’t care that he used a racial slur, and they’re fully standing by him. The radio stations have likely been feeling pressure from their listeners. The decision to lift the ban in a quiet manner seems to be a way to not anger Wallen’s critics. When a celebrity goes through a scandal that results in them staying away from public view for a while, that time away seems to heal some of the wounds, even if just on a surface level. Sometimes, fans and critics are able to forgive after a period of time. Only time will tell if The Voice alum Wallen is truly willing to change for the better.

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Source: Variety

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