Bailey Zimmerman Recalls Meeting Morgan Wallen For The First Time

“My biggest hero just told me he’s been jamming to my single,” Zimmerman said, explaining that Wallen was already a fan of his music.

By

Melinda Lorge

Melinda Lorge is a Nashville-based freelance writer who specializes in covering country music. Along with Music Mayhem, her work has appeared in publications, including Rare Country, Rolling Stone Country, Nashville Lifestyles Magazine, Wide Open Country and more. After joining Rare Country in early 2016, Lorge was presented with the opportunity to lead coverage on late-night television programs, including “The Voice” and “American Idol,” which helped her to sharpen her writing skills even more. Lorge earned her degree at Middle Tennessee State University, following the completion of five internships within the country music industry. She has an undeniable love for music and entertainment. When she isn’t living and breathing country music, she can be found enjoying time outdoors with family and friends.

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Posted on May 10, 2023

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Bailey Zimmerman, Morgan Wallen; Photo Courtesy of CMA Awards

Bailey Zimmerman may only be 23 years old, but he’s quickly joining the ranks of some of his favorite artists. And that may be an inevitable part of his musical journey as he just so happens to be label-mates with the ones he considers his heroes in the business.

While speaking with iHeartCountry‘s Wayne D, Zimmerman recounted the time he first met one of his heroes – Morgan Wallen. It was during a time when he almost jumped at the chance of speaking with ERNEST ahead of a writing session.

@heswayned

Morgan Wallen said WHAT? Bailey Zimmerman fraaked out, I would have too! #iHeartCHP #iHeartCountry

♬ original sound – Wayne D

How Did Bailey Zimmerman Meet Morgan Wallen?

“The first time I met Morgan Wallen was outside of Big Loud. It was funny because I hadn’t met ERNEST, HARDY or any of them,” Zimmerman recalled. “I hadn’t met anybody in town [and] I was going to write at Big Loud that day. I pulled up, and I was on a Zoom call. ERNEST was out there smoking with somebody on the front porch of Big Loud. So I was trying to get off the Zoom [call] because I was like, ‘I want to meet ERNEST so bad. I wanted to talk to him, but I didn’t get off [of the Zoom call] in time, and he walked back in. So I was like, ‘Oh, man.’ I really wanted to meet him, but maybe another day, you know?”

Bailey Zimmerman went on to note a different fate. As he was making his way to his meet with his co-writers, he bumped into Wallen, who had been roaming around the halls of Big Loud in Nashville, Tenn. At the time, Zimmerman was climbing the charts with “Fall In Love,” which marked his first No. 1 hit on Billboard’s Country Airplay chart and became the fastest debut single to reach No. 1 on country radio since 2015.

“I was walking in, and then Morgan came around the corner, and I was like, ‘Oh, man. What’s up, Morgan?’” Zimmerman said of rubbing shoulders with Wallen. “He’s like, ‘Dude, what’s up buddy?’ He’s like, ‘You’re Bailey, right?’ and I’m like, ‘Yeah, I’m Bailey.’ He’s like, ‘Dude, you’ve got that ‘Fall In Love’ song. I’m like, ‘Yeah. That’s me. Holy cow!’”

Bailey Zimmerman, Morgan Wallen; Photo Courtesy of Instagram
Bailey Zimmerman, Morgan Wallen; Photo Courtesy of Instagram

“My Biggest Hero Just Told Me He’s Been Jamming To My Single”

“He’s like, ‘Dude, I’ve been jamming that song.’ And I just melted,” Bailey Zimmerman continued. “I was like, ‘Oh my gosh! You’ve been listening to my music?’ He’s like, ‘Dude. I love your song, man. I’m so happy for you. Keep crushing it, buddy. And I was [jaw dropping] like…. my biggest hero just told me he’s been jamming to my single.”

While Zimmerman’s initial meeting with Wallen found him star-struck, the two have since built a friendship on their first run-in. Already, they have co-written “Trainwreck” with Gavin Lucas and Sergio Sanchez.

YouTube video

One Night At A Time World Tour

Additionally, Zimmerman, who boasts nearly 2 billion career streams to date, is one of the opening acts on Wallen’s massive One Night At A Time Tour, which launched in March as one of the biggest tours of 2023.

The US leg of the trek kicked off with back-to-back shows at American Family Field in Milwaukee, Wisconsin in April. The North American leg of the tour will wrap up on October 7, at Tacoma Dome in Washington before Wallen heads back overseas with a run of shows scheduled through Dec. 3.

Bailey Zimmerman, Photo Courtesy of ABC; Morgan Wallen, Photo by John Shearer via Morgan Wallen Instagram
Bailey Zimmerman, Photo Courtesy of ABC; Morgan Wallen, Photo by John Shearer via Morgan Wallen Instagram

Morgan Wallen Offered Bailey Zimmerman Advice

Speaking of touring, the fast-rising artist from Illinois still holds onto advice Wallen has given him. 

“One day, Morg told me, ‘I’ve only ever canceled one show. I’ve played shows no matter what. This is the reason you do this. You’ve got to work really hard,’” Zimmerman shared in a previous feature with Holler Country. “I’ve been trying to focus on that. Even if you’re sick, you’ve got to put on a performance because these people have paid to come and watch a good show. That’s one of the biggest things I’ve taken from him so far, but I’m sure there will be more lessons learned.”

Contrary to that advice, Wallen, who is currently in the running for four 2023 ACM Awards, including ACM Entertainer of the Year, recently announced that he was forced to cancel a string of upcoming tour dates, festival appearances, and his ACM Awards and ACM Lifting Lives performance, citing a doctor-ordered six-weeks of necessary vocal rest. 

“What’s going on y’all. I’m just going to get straight to it. I got some bad news from my Doctor at the Vanderbilt Voice Center yesterday. After taking ten days of vocal rest, I performed three shows last weekend in Florida, and by the third one I felt terrible,” Wallen stated on Instagram. “So, I went in and got scoped yesterday, and they told me I injured my vocal cords and I have vocal fold trauma. Their advice is that I go on vocal rest for six weeks. So that’s what I’m going to do. They want me to not talk at all, but they said it’s okay if I need to for something like this.” 

Morgan Wallen Is Working To Reschedule Tour Dates

Wallen and his team are currently working to reschedule upcoming tour dates.

In the meantime, folks can look forward to Zimmerman’s performance at the 2023 Academy of Country Music Awards. Zimmerman also scored his first-ever nomination in the ceremony. He earned a nod for ACM Best New Male Artist of the Year. 

Dolly Parton and Garth Brooks will co-host the 58th annual Academy of Country Music Awards, set to air on May 11 at Ford Center at the Star in Frisco, Texas.

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Written by

Melinda Lorge is a Nashville-based freelance writer who specializes in covering country music. Along with Music Mayhem, her work has appeared in publications, including Rare Country, Rolling Stone Country, Nashville Lifestyles Magazine, Wide Open Country and more. After joining Rare Country in early 2016, Lorge was presented with the opportunity to lead coverage on late-night television programs, including “The Voice” and “American Idol,” which helped her to sharpen her writing skills even more. Lorge earned her degree at Middle Tennessee State University, following the completion of five internships within the country music industry. She has an undeniable love for music and entertainment. When she isn’t living and breathing country music, she can be found enjoying time outdoors with family and friends.

See more posts from Melinda Lorge