Nashville sensation Morgan Wallen — who has ruled the country and pop charts this year — is offering “no excuse” for the racial-slur scandal that threatened to get him canceled in 2021.
“There’s no excuse. I’ve never made an excuse. I never will make an excuse,” Wallen, 30, told Billboard about the video footage that was leaked of him using the N-word in February 2021.
After issuing an apology for his drunken behavior — “on hour 72 of a 72-hour bender” — Wallen met with several black music industry leaders as well as organizations such as the Black Music Action Coalition to educate himself.
“I’ve talked to a lot of people, heard stories [about] things that I would have never thought about because I wasn’t the one going through it” he said.
“And I think, for me, in my heart I was never that guy that people were portraying me to be, so there was a little bit of like, ‘Damn, I’m kind of actually mad about this a little bit because I know I shouldn’t have said this, but I’m really not that guy.’ “
And — in his first major interview in two years — the “Last Night” singer admits that he had no one but himself to blame for the backlash that he faced as radio stations stopped playing his music, award shows declared him ineligible, and his record label suspended him.
“I put myself in just such a s–t spot, you know? Like, ‘You really messed up here, guy.’ If I was that guy, then I wouldn’t have cared. I wouldn’t have apologized. I wouldn’t have done any of that if I really was that guy that people were saying about me.”
And as an artist embroiled in a potentially career-ending controversy — although his fans never abandoned him — Wallen realized “just how much that people listen to me. I don’t think I realized that, at least not at that grand of a scale at the time.”
After learning “how much my words matter,” Wallen said that he is a changed man almost three years later: “That person is definitely not the same person l am now.”