2022 Billboard Awards: Morgan Wallen Thanks ‘Best Damn Fans’ After Winning Top Country Male Artist

by Emily Morgan

Morgan Wallen may be one of country music’s most prolific names, and he knows that he owes much of that to his incredible fans. During last night’s Billboard Awards, when he was named Top Country Male Artist, the “Sand in My Boots” singer gave his supporters a huge shout out. 

At the awards ceremony, the 29-year-old standout star accepted the award from Pusha T at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nev. After a 15-month hiatus, Wallen showed up to the ceremony and took home some hardware. He took home the coveted award and hit the stage to perform “Don’t Think Jesus” and “Wasted on You.” 

After winning the Billboard award, Morgan Wallen acknowledged those that have been in his corner since day one. “Man, I’d like to say thank God, thank my fans, I got the best damn fans,” Wallen said with gratitude. He also honored his mom, Lesli, whom he walked the red carpet with ahead of the show. “Thank you to my mama for being my date tonight, I wouldn’t be here without you,” the East Tennessee native added. During his acceptance speech, he also gave a shoutout to Billboard and his team. 

Morgan Wallen Lets Viewers Know Who Matters Most to Him

“Thank you to the Billboards for inviting me here. Thank you to my team, thank you to my family, my friends. To end his speech, Wallen recognized his son as the source of his inspiration. “Thank you to my little boy for inspiring me every single day. God bless y’all.”

During the awards show, Wallen performed his new release, “Don’t Think Jesus,” and his hit track, “Wasted On You,” which comes off his sophomore album Dangerous: The Double Album. The performance marked his first awards show performance in over a year.

Ahead of his performance of “Don’t Think Jesus,” Wallen needed no introduction. Instead, the camera cut to him on stage with his band behind him. The song was noteworthy, considering the spotlight he’s been subjected to in the last year. His lyrics echo a tone of forgiveness and regret alongside his gruff and somber voice that makes him easily distinguishable. The track is also his latest to hit the top 10 of the Billboard Hot 100.

The Emotion Behind ‘Don’t think Jesus’

Co-penned by Chase McGill, Jessi Alexander, and Mark Holman, “Don’t Think Jesus” was an emotional punch in the gut the first time Wallen listened to it in his truck back in 2021. Although he isn’t a co-writer on the hit, it was apparent he has emotional ties to the song. 

The song’s chorus is also a nod to Waylon Jennings‘ song, “Are You Sure Hank Done It This Way.” However, in Wallen’s track, he switches up the up lyrics.

“If I was Him, I’d say,
‘To Hell with you, ain’t no helping you’
Find someone else to give Heaven to
I’m telling you
I’d shame me, I’d blame me
I’d make me pay for my mistakes
But I don’t think Jesus does it that way”

The hitmaker was banned from last year’s ceremony but was offered an invitation to this year’s show after the organization conducted “a thorough review and robust discussions internally and with the artist’s team.”

Per Daily Mail, the BBMAs “extended an invitation to participate in this year’s ceremony after concluding that he had demonstrated an ongoing commitment to meaningful work and outreach.”