Morgan Wallen made headlines a few months ago after his debut performance on Saturday Night Live was unexpectedly canceled, when he was already in New York City, due to video surfacing of him not adhering to COVID-19 safety precautions. The rising star had been seen partying in a large group, without wearing a mask or practicing social-distancing, which SNL producers said made him too risky to appear.
Morgan posted a heartfelt message on social media after his performance was canceled, accepting responsibility for the decision, and admitting he exercised poor judgement. Now, after his recent Saturday Night Live appearance on December 5, the Tennessee native says he is grateful for the experience, and all that it taught him.
“I learned a lot about my fans, I learned a lot about myself,” he told CMT‘s Cody Alan. “It’s real nice to know that my fans view me as ‘Morgan Wallen,’ but also, I feel like they understand that I am human.”
While Morgan is quick to accept that he alone is responsible for his actions, he does acknowledge that his career has skyrocketed, especially in the last year.
“I am 27. I don’t think that there is any way that I could have prepared myself for the way that my career has grown over the past year. It’s been a little weird,” he reflects. “I have always been a person who likes to go out and meet people. I enjoy that. I like to get inspired by new people that I meet. It helps my creativity. It’s been weird to realize that I can go out, but I gotta be prepared to be scrutinized for whatever happens while I am out there.”
While Morgan is thankful for his success, he admits it does come with a pretty hefty price tag.
“A lot of my life has been made public this year,” Morgan maintains. “I am not used to personal things being made public. I am not looking for pity or for someone to feel sorry for me. I’m not looking for anything really. I just wanted to throw out the way that I feel sometimes.
“Most of the time, I am happy, blessed, and extremely grateful for the life that I have been given,” he continues, “but sometimes it’s a little weird, and it’s a little hard, and I just wanted people to see that side.”
Morgan promised after his original Saturday Night Live performance was canceled that he would “take a step back from the spotlight for a little while, and go work on myself.” While he might now have a more mature world view, the reigning CMA New Artist of the Year promises he will always keep his fun side, albeit perhaps slightly more guarded now.
“I’ll probably always be a little bit of a wild card no matter what,” Morgan says. “That’s just my personality, but it’s made me really appreciate my true friends and be a little more skeptical of people.”