WASHINGTON: Country music star Morgan Wallen returned to his first award show since being embroiled in a racial slur controversy. Apart from attending the 2022 ACM Awards, he also took home Album of the Year.
As per Variety, Wallen bagged the award for his album 'Dangerous: The Double Album', marking his first major country music award since his 2021 N-word scandal.
In his acceptance speech, the singer said, "When I started this album, I was a kid. By the time I put it out, I was a father. And that's become more important to me than anything else." He also thanked his fans and those who have shown him "grace."
Wallen further said, "To my son, this album would signify that his daddy was a fighter and he chased his dreams and worked hard to make them a reality. I want to say a special thank you to all the songwriters, producers and musicians that played on this album. I wish you were standing here next to me, this project would not be complete without all of you."
For months following the scandal in 2021, Wallen's music was dropped by top radio chains including Cumulus Media, iHeartRadio and Entercom, the cable network CMT, the satellite service SiriusXM and the streaming service Pandora. His music catalog was also removed from any visible spots on DSPs like Spotify and Apple Music.
Wallen has since apologised on several different occasions and revealed to Good Morning America's Michael Strahan in July 2021 that he checked into a rehabilitation centre after the incident.
While Wallen came under fire after he was caught using the racial slur in a video last year, his award prospects and position on country music charts did not suffer much.
Last year, Wallen won three Billboard Music Awards despite being banned from the award ceremony. In December, his collaboration with rapper Lil Durk, titled 'Broadway Girls' landed the country singer at No. 1 on Billboard's R&B/hip-hop chart.
Talking about this year's ACM Awards ceremony, it was hosted by Dolly Parton, Jimmie Allen and Gabby Barrett. The event broadcasted live from Las Vegas on Prime Video.