Morgan Wallen is currently on top of Billboard’s Country Airplay chart with his single “Wasted on You,” but the singer-songwriter says things got “pretty dark” after video surfaced in 2021 of him using a racial slur.
“It got pretty dark for sure,” the singer-songwriter told Storme Warren during an interview with SiriusXM’s The Highway that aired Wednesday (June 29). “You know, I’m a pretty … I feel like I’m a pretty resilient person, and I’m a pretty happy person in general. But that was definitely a really difficult time, you know? But we tried to keep my sight set on better things. I feel like if we just stay true to who I knew I really was, that it would … we would come out all right.”
But Wallen says he’s learned important lessons during the past year.
“There was definitely a few of them that’s been learned, and I’m still trying to learn everything I can … that’s part of what I love about life and that’s what I love about anything, like golf, for example,”he said. “That’s why I love golf, I can’t figure it out.”
During his acceptance speech at the 2022 ACM Awards after winning album of the year for Dangerous: The Double Album, Wallen alluded to the growth he has experienced over the past year. He told Warren, “That speech I gave there was from my heart. It was true. I think I wrote it that morning and just kind of let whatever I felt come out, you know, um, pretty fresh, but yeah, it’s definitely true. Everyone, a lot of people around me are like, ‘Man, you know, you’re a lot different than you were even a year ago,’ you know. I’m glad to hear that, because that’s something that I was, it’s not an accident, you know? I’ve worked on it. I’ve tried. And I’m glad to see some of the fruits of, of my labor come, come to come to pass.”
Returning to the theme of gratefulness, Wallen also said that he’s thankful for the support he’s received from some fellow country artists over the past couple of years.
“Those are things that you don’t forget, you know? It’s easy to be a friend when it’s the cool thing to do. So I definitely have a select number of people that I, that I really, really appreciate.”
One of those friends has been fellow country artist Eric Church. Wallen has previously shared photos of their outings, including fishing and golfing trips. Wallen has also been a special guest at a few of Church’s concerts, and opened for the “Heart on Fire” singer earlier this month during a show in Minneapolis.
“We’ve become pretty close,” Wallen said. “He really is just like my buddy now, you know, but obviously anyone who knows me knows how much of a fan I am of his. So it’s, it’s been really cool. It’s a special friendship for me.”
He also shared a piece of advice he received from Church. “He said to keep it, you know, some people say keep it within the lines,” the “Wasted on You” singer noted. “He said keep it within the buoys. So, I thought that was pretty good.”
Right now, Wallen says he’s focusing on gratitude for his career and his family.
“I got a lot of, a lot of great things going on,” the country star said. “I think I’m happy as I’ve ever been. I can honestly say that. And I don’t know if, I mean, obviously I’ve been, I’ve had a lot of success, which, you know, doesn’t hurt when it comes to that. But it’s, I don’t know. I’m just in a really good place mentally. I got my little boy [son Indigo Wilder]. I got my family. Everything is really good for me right now. So, I, gratitude is at the top of the, of my vocabulary.”