Wallen — who was nominated for the evening’s highest honor, entertainer of the year, as well as male vocalist of the year — spoke with Extra about his year, what he’s learned about himself and how he approached his tour with a new mindset.
“I think we played like 75 shows or something like that this year, and I did them all mostly in a sober state of mind,” he shared.” I was really, really focused. I kind of treated it like an athlete would a season, and I think that was really key to me. I feel like I really thrived in that.”
Wallen has been crisscrossing the country on his Dangerous Tour, selling out arenas and adding stadium shows to his itinerary, while seeing his song “You Proof” spend its fifth week at No. 1 on Billboard‘s Country Airplay chart.
With Thanksgiving coming up, Wallen also said he is most thankful for his family.
“My little boy, that’s gotta be my No. 1,” he said, referring to his son Indigo Wilder, who was born in 2020.
Asked what lessons he hopes to pass along to his little one, the country star responded, “I’m going to just try to teach him to be grateful for the things that really matter. He’ll grow up in a way that I didn’t, just because of me and who I am. I didn’t really have a whole lot growing up, so I got to learn the importance of just values, and I just hope I can really instill in him the same that my parents did.”
Back in June, Wallen told Country Countdown USA that he is working on new music.
“I’ve already got 12 songs finished, maybe more. I’m just trying to beat what I’ve got,” he shared at the time. “I’m confident in whatever I do next already. Overall I feel pretty comfortable. I don’t feel rushed. I’ve got other things — I’ve got the tour, I’ve got my son — so I’m glad that I’ve already spent some time on the next project.”
In late October, Wallen teased a new song, “Me + All Your Reasons,” with lyrics that catalog a litany of bad decisions.
“Smoke on my clothes, liquor on my breath/devil on my shoulder, strangers in my bed/pills in my pocket, ashes on the floor, These bad decisions keep on knocking on my door,” he sings in the clip shared to Instagram. The song ultimately reveals that his ex-lover didn’t leave him lonely, but with a string of her excuses to accompany him.