Country News

When Morgan Wallen made a surprise appearance on the Grand Ole Opry over the weekend (1/8), it caused a bit of a stir in Nashville with some artists and the Black Opry community. The Opry posted to Instagram on Saturday (1/8), “@ernest also stepped into the circle for his Opry debut tonight – and he was surprised by @morganwallen to sing ‘Flower Shops’ in the circle!”

Jason Isbell, whose song Wallen covered (“Cover Me Up”), tweeted, “Last night @opry you had a choice- either upset one guy and his ‘team,’ or break the hearts of a legion of aspiring Black country artists. You chose wrong and I’m real sad for a lot of my friends today. Not surprised though. Just sad.”

Also, the Black Opry, an organization that bills itself as the “home for Black artists and Black fans of country, blues, folk, and Americana music,” shared a statement from their founder Holly G, which said in part, “I am extremely confused by the welcoming of Morgan Wallen to the Opry stage last night. You were very clear about the fact that some people do not deserve a spot on that stage, which lets me know that each guest is intentional and thought through. That being the case, how was this deemed okay? A stage that was once a dream destination for many Black artists has now cemented itself as one of the many Nashville stages on which we know we are not respected.”

The Black Opry Tweeted, “In the interest of transparency I would like you all to know that this letter was shared with the Opry this morning, via email. We may not get the answers we want, but we will be heard.”

Aspiring country artist Joy Oladokun shared her thoughts on twitter as well. Americana artist Brandi Carlile responded to her with a NSFW tweet.

Wallen used a racial slur back in February of 2021 and at the time was barred from award shows and his songs were taken off of country radio. Country radio is now playing Wallen once again.

Morgan Wallen