Morgan Wallen earns Billboard Music Awards nominations but isn't invited to the show after use of racial slur

Morgan Wallen
(Image credit: Terry Wyatt/Getty Images for CMA)

Morgan Wallen may be a nominee at this year's Billboard Music Awards, but that doesn't mean he's actually invited.

Nominations for the 2021 Billboard Music Awards were revealed on Thursday, and Wallen received six nods, including for Top Song Sales Artist and Top Country Artist. But Dick Clark Productions clarified that while the country singer is a "finalist this year based on charting," he will have no involvement in the ceremony itself after video in February showed him using the N-word, per Entertainment Weekly.

"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)," Dick Clark Productions said.

Subscribe to The Week

Escape your echo chamber. Get the facts behind the news, plus analysis from multiple perspectives.


Sign up for The Week's Free Newsletters

From our morning news briefing to a weekly Good News Newsletter, get the best of The Week delivered directly to your inbox.

From our morning news briefing to a weekly Good News Newsletter, get the best of The Week delivered directly to your inbox.

Sign up

Wallen was suspended by his label over his racist conduct, and he apologized at the time for using an "unacceptable and inappropriate racial slur." He said earlier this month he's "really worked on myself" since then is "proud of the work I've put in," though he added he wouldn't be performing any tour dates this summer. Wallen was previously disqualified from the Academy of Country Music Awards.

"It is heartening and encouraging to hear that Morgan is taking steps in his anti-racist journey and starting to do some meaningful work," Dick Clark Productions' said. "We plan to evaluate his progress and will consider his participation in future shows."

Overall, The Weeknd led the nominations with 16 nods, which comes after he was infamously completely shut out at this year's Grammys.

Continue reading for free

We hope you're enjoying The Week's refreshingly open-minded journalism.

Subscribed to The Week? Register your account with the same email as your subscription.

Brendan Morrow

Brendan is a staff writer at The Week. A graduate of Hofstra University with a degree in journalism, he also writes about horror films for Bloody Disgusting and has previously contributed to The Cheat Sheet, Heavy, WhatCulture, and more. He lives in New York City surrounded by Star Wars posters.