Morgan Wallen donated $500,000 of ‘Dangerous’ proceeds to Black organizations.
In a deeply personal conversation with Good Morning America‘s Michael Strahan early Friday (July 23) morning, the country superstar opened up about his use of a racial slur and more during the exclusive sit-down interview on ABC, marking his first interview since the controversial video surfaced in early February.
The East Tennessee native and his team noticed an obvious spike in sales for his sophomore project, Dangerous: The Double Album, which soared to new heights following the incident.
“Before this incident my album was already doing well,” Wallen said. “It was already being well-received by critics and by fans. Me and my team noticed that whenever this whole incident happened that there was a spike in my sales. So we tried to calculate what the number of — how much it actually spiked from this incident.”
Wallen donated the proceeds that totaled $500,000 to several Black organizations, including BMAC (Black Music Action Coalition) amongst others.
“We got to a number somewhere around $500,000, and we decided to donate that money to some organizations — BMAC being the first one,” he added.
.@ABC NEWS EXCLUSIVE: @MorganWallen reveals to @michaelstrahan he spent 30 days in rehab following the incident and he says he donated the money from his spike in album sales to Black organizations. https://t.co/PXMd3zA5En pic.twitter.com/BAZI4uFXXf
He also shared that he took time to meet with various Black organizations and Black music industry leaders, including BMAC, Kevin Liles, CEO of 300 Entertainment, label home to Megan Thee Stallion, Eric Hutcherson, Executive Vice President and Chief People and Inclusion Officer at Universal Music Group (UMG) and Gospel singer BeBe Winans.
Wallen’s GMA interview comes nearly six months after TMZ obtained a video showing the country singer using the n-word outside of his Nashville area home. On February 3, one day after the TMZ video surfaced, his label, Big Loud, revealed that his recording contract had been suspended indefinitely.
“I’m embarrassed and sorry,” Wallen said in a statement after TMZ published the video. “I used an unacceptable and inappropriate racial slur that I wish I could take back. There are no excuses to use this type of language, ever. I want to sincerely apologize for using the word. I promise to do better.”
His music was then pulled from hundreds of radio stations across the country and removed from major playlists across various DSPs, including Spotify and Apple Music.
Additionally, Wallen was prohibited from participating in the 2021 Academy of Country Music Awards and his content was removed from the Country Music Association and CMT platforms. Dick Clark Productions also opted to exclude Wallen from the 2021 Billboard Music Awards.
One week after the video surfaced, Wallen released a lengthy video apology urging fans to stop siding with him.
“I have one favor to ask… I appreciate those who still see something in me and have defended me but for today, please don’t. I was wrong,” he said. “It’s on me to take ownership for this and I fully accept any penalties I’m facing.”
The East Tennessee native then took an extensive break from the spotlight and social media. During this time, fans rallied behind him, continuing to stream and purchase his sophomore project, Dangerous: The Double Album, so much so that it reached a record-breaking 10+ weeks atop the Billboard 200 chart.
The singer/songwriter later returned to social media to share hand-written letter to fans, revealing that he used the time away to better himself.
“Not only has this time revealed to me the ways in which I want to improve, but it’s also reminded me that I am still very proud of who I am and the man I am becoming,” he shared in mid-April.
At the time, Wallen also revealed that he removed himself from his scheduled appearances throughout the summer, including his spot on Luke Bryan’s tour. Wallen closed his post by letting fans know that his “story is far from over” and promised, “you’ll be seeing me sooner than later.”
Several weeks later, Wallen resurfaced with a surprise public performance at Kid Rock’s Big Honky Tonk & Steakhouse and also attended Miranda Lambert’s Casa Rosa VIP grand opening.
Meanwhile, Dangerous: The Double Album has gone on to earn Platinum certification, just six months after its release. Wallen’s sophomore album has now surpassed Taylor Swift’s seminal release Fearless and is now the No. 1 country album with the most weeks inside the Top 5 of the US Billboard 200 albums chart this century.
With no tour dates on the books, it appears that Wallen is also using this time to work on new music. According to social media posts, he has been in the studio with HARDY. He’s also shared several unreleased tracks, including “Thought You Should Know,” “Drink U Back,” and more.
Wallen has also been leaning on his family throughout the past six months, including his son, Indigo Wilder, who celebrated his first birthday earlier this month. Wallen documented the occasion on social media with photos from his “first rodeo” themed party.
Most recently, Wallen’s music has been quietly reinstated to many radio and platforms. His label, Big Loud Records, is now releasing “Sand In My Boots” to country radio. According to Billboard, “Sand In My Boots” debuted on the Country Airplay chart at No.56, marking Wallen’s first time on the chart since the chart dated February 6.
Watch Wallen’s full Good Morning America interview below.