Singer-songwriter HARDY opened up recently about his friend and fellow artist Morgan Wallen not being invited to attend the Nov. 10 Country Music Association Awards, despite Wallen’s album Dangerous: The Double Album receiving a nomination for album of the year. Not surprisingly, HARDY is not happy about it.
“I think it sucks,” HARDY told Alek on the Radio during an interview over the weekend at ACL Fest. “If you’re going to allow the guy to be able to be voted for, and to be able to be nominated, he should at least be invited.”
In a story published by the Los Angeles Times on Thursday, CMA CEO Sarah Trahern said that Wallen is not allowed to attend the upcoming ceremony, including performing, accepting an award or walking the red carpet.
“This is the first time in the history of the CMA, to my knowledge, anyone has ever been disqualified for conduct,” Trahern told the publication. “Honoring him as an individual this year is not right, and he will not be allowed on the red carpet, on our stage, or be celebrated in any way.”
The news follows an earlier announcement from the CMA in May, stating that Wallen would be eligible for CMA Awards categories that recognize collaborative works (such as single, song, and album of the year), “so as not to limit opportunity for other credited collaborators.” However, Wallen would not be eligible in individual artist categories (such as entertainer and male vocalist of the year). Wallen is the reigning CMA new artist of the year.
After Wallen released Dangerous: The Double Album on Jan. 8, 2021, it debuted at No. 1 on the all-genre Billboard 200 chart. Just weeks later, TMZ released a video of Wallen uttering a racial slur outside of his Nashville home. His music was pulled from country radio airwaves and from top streaming playlists. He was temporarily suspended from his label home Big Loud Records, and disqualified from other awards shows including the Academy of Country Music Awards and the CMT Music Awards. Still, the album remained entrenched atop the Billboard 200 for 10 weeks.
HARDY is a co-writer on several tracks on Wallen’s Dangerous: The Double Album, including Wallen’s current country radio single “Sand in My Boots.”
HARDY is also a co-writer on previous Wallen hits including “More Than My Hometown” and “Up Down.” Wallen also appears on HARDY’s 2019 release Hixtape, Vol. 1. Last year, HARDY earned his first No. 1 as an artist on Billboard’s Country Airplay chart with “One Beer,” featuring Lauren Alaina and Devin Dawson.
While Wallen is nominated for album of the year, HARDY is nominated for new artist of the year heading into the November CMA awards show.”It’s an honor just to be considered,” HARDY told Alek on Radio of his own nomination.