Morgan Wallen is speaking about his infamous racial slur that occurred in early 2021. Aside from one interview (with Good Morning America) several months after the incident, the Tennessee native has remained largely quiet about the night his entire life was turned upside down.
“There’s no excuse,” Wallen told Billboard. “I’ve never made an excuse. I never will make an excuse. I’ve talked to a lot of people, heard stories [about] things that I would have never thought about because I wasn’t the one going through it. And I think, for me, in my heart, I was never that guy that people were portraying me to be, so there was a little bit of like, ‘Damn, I’m kind of actually mad about this a little bit because I know I shouldn’t have said this, but I’m really not that guy.’”
Wallen was at the end of a days-long bender, which might explain his poor choice, but he makes clear in no way excuses what he said. But nor, he says, did that one night paint a picture of the person other people made him out to be.
“I put myself in just such a sh– spot, you know?” Wallen reflected. “Like, ‘You really messed up here, guy.’ If I was that guy, then I wouldn’t have cared. I wouldn’t have apologized. I wouldn’t have done any of that if I really was that guy that people were saying about me.”
If there is a silver lining to what happened, it is that Wallen worked hard on himself, including spending 30 days in rehab in San Diego.
“That used to be my warmup — to get half lit,” Wallen admits.” ‘I’m going out there, and we’re going to go have fun.’ Now, that is not the way I approach it.”
Although he does still drink, the “Last Night” singer does so in moderation, and no longer feels the need to be impacted by alcohol before he takes the stage.
“I used to be scared to even think about what it would be like to play a show without drinking: ‘That sounds terrible. Why would I ever do that?’” Wallen admits. “And now I’m almost scared to wonder what it’d be like if I was drunk.”
Still, Wallen falls short of saying he is ready to forever cut drinking out of his life.
“I’m still figuring out my personal life,” he adds. “I probably always will be.”
Wallen is inarguably the biggest reining superstar in country music right now, but his reasons for getting his life straightened out go much, much deeper than just wanting to be better for his fans. The 30-year-old shares custody of his three-year-old son, Indie, with his ex-girlfriend, KT Smith.
“It gives me something to focus on that’s not just all about myself because for a while,” Wallen says of being a father. “I had to be super selfish. I had to mostly focus on myself or [my career] wouldn’t work. It’s nice to really think about someone other than yourself and about what you’re passing down. He’s my favorite thing about life.”
Photo Credit: Courtesy of EB Media / Matt Paskert