Darius Rucker Speaks Out On Morgan Wallen Racial Slur Controversy

(1st Photo) John Lamparski / Getty Images (2nd Photo) Christopher Polk / Penske Media via Getty Images

Country music star Darius Rucker believes it’s about time the industry and fans forgive Morgan Wallen for his past transgressions.

In a recent interview on Rolling Stone’s Music Now podcast, Rucker, known both for his solo career and as the frontman of Hootie and the Blowfish, shared his thoughts on Wallen’s journey since the infamous 2021 incident.

For those who may not recall, in February 2021, a video surfaced showing Wallen using the N-word, which led to a significant backlash. Major radio stations pulled his music, and his label suspended him, making him ineligible for that year’s ACM Awards. Wallen then publicly apologized, stating he was “embarrassed and sorry” for his actions.

The Road To Redemption

Despite the initial fallout, Wallen’s career has not only rebounded but thrived. His 2021 album Dangerous: The Double Album soared to the top of the charts, and he won multiple awards, including 11 categories at last year’s Billboard Music Awards. He also had the most-streamed song of 2023 across all genres.

Although Wallen has seen massive success since the incident, Rucker feels Wallen still faces excessive criticism.

“He’s not forgiven. He’s still not out for CMAs and ACMs,” Rucker noted. “The fact that Morgan Wallen is not up for entertainer of the year and those things is crazy. No one’s selling more tickets than Morgan.”

Morgan Wallen wins the Billboard Music Awards for Top Male Artist, Top Hot 100 Artist, Top Streaming Songs Artist, Top Country Artist, Top Country Male Artist, Top Country Touring Artist, Top Billboard 200 Album ("One Thing At A Time"), Top Country Album ("One Thing At A Time"), Top Hot 100 Song ("Last Night"), Top Streaming Song ("Last Night") and Top Country Song ("Last Night") at the 2023 Billboard Music Awards at Truist Park in Atlanta, Georgia. The show airs on November 19, 2023 on BBMAs.watch. (Photo by Derek White/Penske Media via Getty Images)
Morgan Wallen wins big at the 2023 Billboard Music Awards. Photo: Derek White / Penske Media via Getty Images

A Second Chance For Wallen?

During the recent interview, Rucker also elaborated on how he believes Wallen has grown up over the years.

“I think Morgan’s become a better person since that,” Rucker said. “I’ve known Morgan a long time. Since all that happened, Morgan’s tried to really better himself and see the world in a much better, better way.”

At the end of 2023, Morgan Wallen sat down with Billboard to reflect on his career and the experiences that have shaped him. Speaking about the past situation, Wallen expressed that he didn’t realize at the time just how much his words mattered. He said that he was “not that guy” that people were making him out to be.

“In my heart I was never that guy that people were portraying me to be, so there was a little bit of like, ‘Damn, I’m kind of actually mad about this a little bit because I know I shouldn’t have said this, but I’m really not that guy.'”

Recent Controversies & Moving Forward

But it looks like Wallen hasn’t entirely stayed out of trouble. In April, Wallen allegedly threw a chair from a rooftop bar in Nashville, leading to his arrest on three felony charges. Wallen has since apologized, stating he takes “responsibility” for his actions and was “not proud” of his behavior.

Morgan Wallen/X

Rucker’s stance is clear: he believes Wallen has made significant efforts to improve himself and deserves forgiveness. Whether the industry will fully embrace this perspective remains to be seen, but Rucker’s support could signal a shift in how Wallen is perceived within country music circles.

Despite the cold shoulder Morgan Wallen still faces, he seems to still keep delivering hit after hit, including his most recent collaboration with Post Malone, “I Had Some Help.” Listen to it below!

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