Country

Morgan Wallen Dropped by Booking Agent WME Following Racial Slur: Exclusive

Morgan Wallen
Ed Rode/Getty Images for CMT

Morgan Wallen performs at The Cowan at Topgolf on June 3, 2019 in Nashville.

The country star was plotting an arena headlining North American tour for late 2021-22.

WME has dropped Morgan Wallen from its roster, the agency has confirmed.

The move comes as Wallen’s career has imploded in the 36 hours since TMZ posted a video on Feb. 2 showing the country star using a racial slur.

Since then, Wallen’s label, Big Loud, suspended his “recording contract indefinitely”, almost every radio chain pulled his music indefinitely, CMT erased him from its platforms, most streaming services -- including Spotify and Apple Music -- removed him from their curated playlists, and the Academy of Country Music declared him ineligible for its 2021 awards.

All the while, Wallen’s 30-track album, Dangerous: The Double Album, is spending its third week at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 chart.

The WME move comes at a time when Wallen was seen as the next potential global country superstar. He has headlined selected small dates, including a 2018 date at Chattanooga, Tennessee’s The Signal, which sold out at 1,480 tickets, according to Billboard Boxscore, but has mainly built his audience as an opening act for artists, including Florida Georgia Line and Jason Aldean.

During the pandemic, his popularity had grown so much as his radio and streaming success blossomed, that his team was plotting an arena headlining North American tour for late 2021-22, which would more than triple the size of the venues he was playing pre-pandemic.

Plans were also in place to take Wallen, who had already played in Australia, on his first tour of Europe. He had sold out headlining dates in London slated for last May that were pulled for the pandemic.

This summer, Wallen is slated to open for Luke Bryan, honoring a commitment from last summer when Bryan’s tour was postponed. Bryan’s representative did not immediately respond to whether Wallen was still on the tour, provided it is able to happen. Similarly, Wallen was on the 2020 bills for Stagecoach, Bonnaroo and Country Jam and was expected to roll over to the 2021 line-ups (Stagecoach 2021 has already been postponed).

Assistance provided by Dave Brooks.

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