Country singer Morgan Wallen made a surprise appearance on stage Friday with star Luke Bryan, six months after facing the cancel culture for uttering the “n-word” among friends.
Wallen has made several furtive stabs at restarting his career, which stalled in February after a video featuring the “Whiskey Glasses” singer using the racial slur went viral on social media. Wallen apologized for the video, but the cancel culture kicked into gear almost immediately. He was quickly dropped from his talent agency and, two months later, was informed that his eligibility for awards was officially limited by the Country Music Association.
But on Friday, Wallen was back — at least for a few songs — on stage with Bryan.
Wallen was greeted by a standing ovation when he walked out on stage in Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena when he joined Bryan, Jason Aldean, and Tyler Hubbard.
Ahead of performing his hit song, “More Than My Hometown,” Wallen told the crowd, “This is a song about staying true to yourself. That’s been a really hard thing for me to do lately.”
Wallen recently told Good Morning America that he has made several steps to rehabilitate himself over the n-word scandal. Not only has he apologized and entered rehab for alcohol, he has also donated $500,000 to social justice causes.
But despite recently entering rehab and telling reporters that he may have a drinking problem, Wallen was also seen doing shots of tequila onstage.
The enthusiastic welcome Wallen received by both the fans and the other stars on stage on Friday is a sign the country music scene may move on from the impulse to eternally cancel the 28-year-old.
Still, it is clear that Wallen is only dipping his toe back in the scene. He has made no announcements of new songs, albums, or concerts as of yet.
Follow Warner Todd Huston on Facebook at: facebook.com/Warner.Todd.Huston.