Wallen, who is nominated for New Artist of the Year, performed his song, “More Than My Hometown.”
“Our next performer has had a big year in every way,” co-host Darius Rucker said while introducing the singer.
“Not bad for a kid from Sneedville, Tennessee — population, 1,387,” co-host Reba McIntire added. “I hear this guy loves his hometown a whole lot.”
In fact, Wallen loves his hometown so much that his performance took place against a backdrop showing a Sneedville road sign.
Earlier in the evening, Rucker joked that Wallen had been in quarantine in his dressing room.
“For your safety, I just want everybody to know that I’ve had Morgan Wallen quarantine in my dressing room for two weeks now, so he might make the show. I’m not sure,” Rucker said as Wallen was shown cracking up in the audience.
The joke came a month after Wallen was uninvited from performing on SNL after being recorded partying maskless in Alabama amid the coronavirus pandemic. Wallen apologized for his behavior, saying, “I know that I put them in jeopardy, and I take ownership of this.”
He also opened up about the controversy on Bobby Bones’ Bobbycast podcast. “I understand both sides of it a little bit,” he said. “I know that I got young kids that look up to me. I need to be mindful of things — I’m not gonna let people control the way I live my life, [but] I do also want to be mindful.”
“And honestly, having a son, obviously now I don’t know that I’d be proud to show him those videos,” he added of his 3-month-old son, Indigo. “I gotta think about some things a little bit differently.”
Wallen called the moment “almost a good thing for me.” “I took a while, like almost two weeks, and just turned my phone off and didn’t even look at it,” he said. “Drove on the tractor, things like that, and just cleared my head. It was really, really good to me.”
See more on Wallen in the video below.
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