Fans of disgraced country music star Morgan Wallen have purchased billboards to support him in Nashville amid the continuing fallout from his use of a racial slur.
Wallen was dropped by his label Big Loud in February after a video surfaced of him using the slur. Radio stations also removed his music from their playlists.
Wallen has not acknowledged the appearance of the six billboard signs in Nashville. Rolling Stone reports that they mysteriously appeared in downtown Nashville this week, with one design featuring a silhouette of Wallen, his signature ad lib “Gaht”, a guitar and a reference to the Bible verse Mark 11:25, written about forgiveness.
The billboard is also adorned with the label “HIS FAN’S CHOICE FOR ENTERTAINER OF THE YEAR [sic]”, a reference to the said category at the Academy of Country Music Awards, which takes place April 18. Wallen was banned from having “involvement” with the ceremony and deemed ineligible for nomination following his use of a racial slur.
Rolling Stone confirmed with Lamar, the advertising company that hosts the billboards, that they were organised by a Wallen fan who approached them last month. The signs now also include a disclosure that they were paid for by “Darleen Ingram and 824 Loyal Fans”.
Wallen has also cancelled all of his summer tour dates to extend personal leave. The country singer announced the tour cancellations in a lengthy handwritten note posted to Instagram, his first post in eight weeks. In the note, his preamble thanks fans for their support of his record ‘Dangerous: The Double Album’, which spent its first ten weeks atop the Billboard 200 – the first country album ever to do so.
Wallen then said he had recently taken a couple of months off music and “really worked on myself”.
“I’ve found this time away to be very valuable to me in many ways, but I feel like I need a little more of it, and therefore I will not be performing tour dates this summer,” he wrote.
“It means I won’t be playing festivals or the Luke Bryan tour dates. But it’s important to me personally, if you can, still go to these shows and support country music. Country music is back and that’s a beautiful damn thing.”
Read the full note below.