Broadcast & Satellite

Music industry rejected Morgan Wallen’s racist slurs, but Country Music fans did not

After a neighbor’s security camera captured rising country star Morgan Wallen hurling profanities and a racist slur, the music industry reacted swiftly.

A reported 80% of country music radio stations dropped all of Wallen’s music, his label Big Loud suspended him, and booking agency WME dropped him.

Spotify, Apple Music, and Amazon Music all pulled Wallen from their official playlists, though his music remained available across all platforms.

CMT issued a statement, saying the channel would remove the singer from its platforms: “We do not tolerate or condone words and actions that are in direct opposition to our core values that celebrate diversity, equity and inclusion.”

The Academy of Country Music even revoked Wallen’s “potential involvement and eligibility for this year’s ACM Awards” and the Country Music Association said it was removing all of Wallen’s digital content from its platforms.

Still #1 Thanks To A Sharp Increase In Sales

For some country music fans, Wallen’s racist remarks seem to have had the opposite effect.

While his radio play fell by over 70% on Feb. 3, sales of his music soared. “Wallen’s albums sold a little over 8,000 copies Feb. 3, up 593% from 1,000 on Feb. 2, while his songs sold 14,000 downloads Feb. 3, up 261% from 4,000 on Feb. 2,” according to Billboard.

“Wallen’s top five-selling tracks on Feb. 3 were: “More Than My Hometown” (nearly 2,000, up 453% from Feb. 2); “Wasted on You” (nearly 2,000, up 80%); “Sand in My Boots” (a little over 1,000, up 162%); “7 Summers” (a little over 1,000, up 257%); and “Whiskey Glasses” (a little over 1,000, up 656%).”

The real damage will be measured next week, but Wallen’s Dangerous: The Double Album held at No. 1 on the Billboard Top 200 chart for a fourth consecutive week for the week ending February 4th despite the sharp end of week decline. 

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