Morgan Wallen’s 2023 album release: Should we take a listen?


Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Morgan Wallen at a concert on Nov. 13

Country singer-songwriter Morgan Wallen released his new album One Thing at a Time on March 3. This is Wallen’s third album, after If I know Me in 2018 and Dangerous: The Double Album, popular in 2021.

Wallen’s 2023 tour will also take off overseas with shows in New Zealand and Australia from March 15-24. He returns to the U.S. on April 14, kicking off the American leg of the tour in Milwaukee, WI and following it with shows at MetLife Stadium in New Jersey, Chicago’s Wrigley Field, Boston’s Fenway Park and more.

While Wallen’s tour is looking to reach new heights and sold-out stadiums, it is important to address his past imperfections that have threatened his career and impacted his reputation altogether.

Revealed in 2021, Wallen was caught on camera using a racial slur and other profanities, causing an eruption in the media. He had his contract suspended by his label, several radio shows dropped his music and he was criticized by fellow artists. In his apology, he promised to meet with Black leaders to become better educated and pledged $500,000 in donations to Black-led organizations.

Although Wallen was questioned for his morals and faced minor repercussions for his actions at the time, his consequences were short-lived. Shortly after, he was able to continue his reign on stage and his past failures were left behind.

One year later, Wallen’s Dangerous: The Double Album won album of the year at the American Country Music Awards. This year, by popular and overwhelming demand, he extended his tour to an additional 14 shows across 13 cities and his tickets are selling rapidly for an average price of $365.

It is obvious that Wallen has recovered his popularity, along with support from his fans and their admiration for his music. However, we, as a society looking to be more tolerant of all races, should not be accepting this behavior from an artist with a wide-range audience across the globe. While his music has hit new levels in the U.S. Billboard Music rankings, his behavioral issues are a different subject to discuss and consider.

If we simply let go of the racist remarks from Wallen, we are giving in to the unacceptable actions that are becoming more prevalent in society. Other artists have recently been vocal about their beliefs on social media, such as Kanye West promoting antisemitism. Starting from a few racial slurs, Wallen’s negative words have the ability to lead to broader issues if not followed up with the proper consequences.

Wallen continues to hold responsibility over what he presents in the media to his listeners. He has control over his fans, so why should we be praising an artist with questionable ideals? Why are we encouraging this inappropriate behavior and continuing to give a platform to someone who may be hiding his true beliefs?

It has been two years since he was exposed and it is not something that should be easily dismissed or forgotten.