Morgan Wallen made a surprise appearance at Kid Rock's downtown Nashville bar, Kid Rock's Big Ass Honky Tonk Rock N' Roll Steakhouse, on Wednesday night (May 19). The performance marks Wallen's first public performance since video surfaced of the singer using a racial slur.
Several videos on social media show the "Chasin' You" singer performing "Whiskey Glasses" and "Wasted on You."
"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 will not be performing tour dates this summer," Wallen 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, go to these shows -- support country music. Country music is back and that's a beautiful damn thing."
In a handwritten note posted to social media, Wallen acknowledged fans' support.
"I know my corner hasn't been the most popular one to stand in recently, but many of you did anyway," he wrote. "I've made some mistakes, I'm figuring those out, and I apologized because I was truly sorry and have been making amends."
In February, following the release of the video of Wallen using the racial slur, the singer was suspended by his record label, Big Loud Records. His music was also removed from Cumulus Media and iHeartRadio airwaves. CMT also removed Wallen from its platforms.
A statement from Dick Clark Productions reveals that Wallen wasn't invited to the 2021 Billboard Music Awards, which will air on May 23, though he received six nominations.
"Morgan Wallen is a finalist this year based on charting. As his recent conduct does not align with our core values, we will not be including him on the show in any capacity (performing, presenting, accepting)," the statement reads. "It is heartening and encouraging to hear that Morgan is taking steps in his anti-racist journey and starting to do some meaningful work. We plan to evaluate his progress and will consider his participation in future shows."
Last year, Wallen was arrested on public intoxication and disorderly conduct charges outside Kid Rock's bar. Wallen appeared in court last July and wasn't prosecuted for the incident.