Budding country music phenomenon Morgan Wallen took a break from his Dangerous tour to play two songs at the Billboard Music Awards in Las Vegas last night. The performance marks Wallen’s first major award show appearance in over a year.
The BBMAs did not officially introduce Wallen’s performance for audiences; but rather panned to him suddenly on a small satellite stage surrounded by a band. The reigning ACM Album of the Year winner began with a somber, stirring rendition of “Don’t Think Jesus.”
The ballad notably tackles forgiveness and redemption. Not only did the song align with Wallen’s current status within some corners of pop culture, but it is also the latest entry of his to crack the top 10 of the Billboard Hot 100.
Wallen then followed up the performance with “Wasted on You,” his other current Billboard Country Music Airplay hit. Later in the evening, Wallen also secured the evening’s top male country artist honors after four years as a finalist.
2022 Billboard Music Awards: MRC Live & Alternative Speaks Out Ahead of Morgan Wallen’s Performance
MRC Live & Alternative, a division of MRC that produces the BBMAs and several other awards shows, said that discussions between them and Wallen’s team over the past year led to the company offering Wallen an invitation to perform at the 2022 BBMAs Sunday.
“We oppose discrimination, harassment or racism of any kind. We believe in treating everyone with dignity and respect. After a thorough review and robust discussions internally and with the artist’s team in which we found a demonstrated and ongoing commitment to meaningful work and outreach, we extended an invitation to participate in this year’s show,” the company said in a press release.
Wallen is currently playing a nationwide arena tour (which includes his first headlining stadium stop in Arlington on Oct. 8), and has dominated the Country Airplay charts as of late. Not to mention, Dangerous: The Double Album also finished 2021 as the year’s No. 1 album on the Billboard 200 albums chart.