The 2022 ACM Awards, which took place at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas on Monday night (March 7), made history as the first major live awards show to be streamed live exclusively (on Prime Video).
During the show, Morgan Wallen — whose Dangerous: the album was the biggest album of 2021 on the Billboard 200, setting a record for the longest stay in the Billboard 200 top 10 for a country album – won album of the year at the 57th annual Academy of Country Music Awards. The win comes just over a year after Wallen, the nation’s biggest rising commercial star, was caught on camera using the n-word among his friends late one night in February 2021. Following the incident, Wallen s apologized and asked fans not to defend him. While many radio stations initially pulled his songs, Wallen’s music has gradually returned to the airwaves and he’s set for a massive tour in 2022. The win is his first big award show moment since the leaked video shows him using a racial slur.
Here is Wallen’s acceptance speech at the 2022 ACM Awards:
“I wrote stuff. When I started this album, I was a child. By the time I released him, I was a dad, and that became more important to me than anything else. To My Son: This album and this award will mean that his father was a fighter, that he pursued his dreams and worked hard to achieve them. I want to give special thanks to all the songwriters, producers and musicians who played on this album. I wish you were standing next to me now. This project would not be complete without each of you. I would also like to thank my good lord and savior Jesus Christ, my family, my close friends, my band, my team in Nashville, country radio and everyone who has shown me grace along the way. Most importantly, I have to speak personally and directly to my fans: Thank you, thank you, thank you. I am blown away by you guys. God protects you.”
Additional reporting by Jessica Nicholson.
The 57th Academy of Country Music Awards is produced by MRC Live & Alternative, which is owned by MRC. MRC co-owns Billboard through a joint venture with Penske Media called P-MRC.