Spotify Partially Lifts Its Morgan Wallen Playlist Ban — Singer Reappears on ‘Country Coffeehouse’ Playlist (600,000 Followers)

Morgan Wallen on Spotify's Country Coffeehouse playlist, which has nearly 600,000 followers, pictured February 23rd, 2021.
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Morgan Wallen on Spotify's Country Coffeehouse playlist, which has nearly 600,000 followers, pictured February 23rd, 2021.
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Spotify’s Country Coffeehouse playlist, which has nearly 600,000 followers, pictured February 23rd, 2021.

Has Spotify started to forgive Morgan Wallen?

That’s an interesting question following the streaming platform’s decision to reinstate the artist this week into one of its largest country playlists, Country Coffeehouse. The Spotify playlist, which is followed by nearly 600,000 people, initially removed Wallen from its collection of roughly 75 songs earlier this month.

After video of Wallen uttering the n-word started disseminating on February 2nd, Spotify took quick action to scrub the artist from its coveted, curated playlists (country or otherwise). That included Country Coffeehouse, as well as Spotify’s marquee country playlist, Hot Country, which boasts more than 6 million followers.

Now, Spotify may be slowly reintegrating Wallen back into its playlist stack. Wallen’s recently-released track, “Somebody’s Problem,” was first spotted by Digital Music News this week after the artist’s playlist ban. It’s unclear which day Wallen first reappeared, and Spotify hasn’t made any public statements since the controversy first surrounded the artist.

But this isn’t the first indication that Spotify is reintegrating Morgan Wallen into its playlists.

Just days after the controversy, Spotify launched an exclusive ‘enhanced’ version of Wallen’s recently-released album, Dangerous: The Double Album. That deep-dive, released just one week after Wallen was ‘suspended indefinitely’ by his label, Big Loud/Republic, features special outtakes and commentary from the artist. Within three days, the enhanced album had garnered nearly 200,000 followers, while the album itself has just entered its sixth week atop numerous album rankings in the United States.

Indeed, Wallen is now surging on Spotify, Apple Music, iTunes, and the physical world, despite full-scale bans on streaming music playlists, broadcast radio, SiriusXM, and Pandora. Over the weekend, data revealed that Wallen is currently the best-selling artist of 2021, and the most popular artist on Spotify (two of Wallen’s songs are now in Spotify’s top 50, with both gaining steam). Wallen has also sold the most albums this year, outpacing heavy-hitting pop stars like Ariana Grande.

That could be putting serious pressure on Spotify, especially given the high-stakes battle for streaming music subscribers. It’s unclear if the streaming platform is facing complaints from Wallen fans, though several radio stations have reported heated confrontations with irate listeners. But radio’s blanket ban is having little impact on Wallen’s success, despite its historical ability to make-or-break an artist’s career.

So what happens next?

At this point, Spotify is keeping its cards close to the vest. But all eyes are now focused on Hot Country and its 6.2 million followers. Perhaps Country Coffeehouse was a way for Spotify to test the waters — and any potential backlash — before reintegrating the country star back into its other coveted playlists.

40 Responses

  1. Mustaine

    Really interested to see what Apple Music does here, so far they’re sticking to their ban.

  2. Lob Befsetz

    Just love how Universal Music Group and Big Loud/Republic are somehow “suspending” this artist while getting him re-added to Spotify playlists.

  3. Vail, CO

    It’s really, really simple folks:

    Spotify doesn’t want to lose subscribers.

    Any questions?

  4. Ally

    Morgan Wallen is one of the best mainstream artists right now. He is authentic and actually makes music that sounds country. Not straight pop. People obviously want to hear him, so put him back on radio. Should he have said what he did? No, but he was drunk and made a mistake, just like so many people. It’s not the industry’s job to cancel an artist and decide for people what they should listen to. If you don’t like him change the channel like I do when Maren Morris, Mickey Guyton, Dan + Shay, Sam Hunt, or any other whiny, fake, “country”, artist comes on . Everybody should have the ability to make that decision, not have it made for them. We are in the “land of the free”, not 1984. Why so many people seem to want to be controlled, I cannot understand.

    • Nancy

      Totally agree..those artists you mentioned, same here. They overplay them..once, twice an hour. Gets old. Let’s move on folks. I’m with you.

    • Ally

      One thing that draws me to Wallen’s music is the fact it’s authentic and not near as formulaic as most of what’s on radio today. You can feel the emotion in his songs. There is actually decent songwriting at play and the songs don’t really get old, at least to me anyway. He has a hand on almost every single song in that album and that comes through with the emotion you can hear in the music. Another artist that is similar is HARDY, which makes sense considering how much the two collaborate on songwriting and use a lot of the same writers.

    • Erik

      People make choices to get drunk or not. This is not the first time Wallen has spewed ugliness. This time he got called out for it.

      • Jen

        Those without sin cast the first stone. He apologized publicly. Murderers are forgiven in the US.

    • Cancel Hypocricy

      Thank you!!!! Im so sick of hearing Maren Morris whine on the stations. The same song over and over and overrrrrr. Mickey Guyton hasnt had jack on radio for how long? Sad to be bitter when you dont have talent like MW and use something like a drunk night out to try to push for ridiculously harsh punishment for someone people want to hear.

    • Julia Maclaughlin

      Morgan acknowledged what he said was not right.
      He is a young man with years to grow and become wiser just like the rest of us. He has a special gift and he needs to sing to the rest of us to warm our hearts while his grows bigger.

  5. ben

    I’m not even surprised, theres so much money to make with bigotry,
    Ek also want his piece of the cake, because only profit counts

    burn in hell

    • Leah Ringo

      Love Morgan Wallen!! All these digital stations better put him back on, they’re the one’s that are going to lose out! His true followers will follow him anywhere!! My Husband and I dropped Apple Music and Pandora as soon as they cut him!!! You cut what we like, we cut you!!!

      • Starkey

        His true followers need to re-assess their moral compasses and values.

        • Boysmom

          Are you commenting this while you’re clutching your pearls? Not too judgmental are you? You must be perfect.

        • Jen

          You sound like someone who go to church on Sunday, ask for forgiveness then don’t forgive.
          He publicly apologize. Enough for God, Jesus,Holy Spirit but not you?

  6. Fa Q

    I don’t know about you guys but if you start to get on this cancel the fucking artist train then you got to remove so many fucking artist let’s start with the Rolling Stones and brown sugar singing about a slave in the market sold down in New Orleans really are we going to cancel the stones? This poor kid said something stupid in a drunken state in the back of a cab in Asheville maybe the driver was a total jerk off who knows you weren’t fucking there there was no motherfucking trial all the social justice bullshit. This generation will never fucking be able to rock or to jazz or any kind of fucking art because you’re too fucking scared

    • Hank

      So getting drunk and saying racist comments is excusable because of being drunk?

  7. Barbaraghuskey

    Love Morgan Wallen het him back on all radio stations quite making a mountain outta of mole hill this banning him from everthing is ridiculous he’s the best country singer there is wake up music industry listen to his fans we want to hear Morgan Wallen on all the

  8. Cancel Hypocricy

    First MW then Luke Combs. Too many snowflakes out there. The Confederate flag represents the south. Period. Stop trying to make it something its not. What MW said is in songs and movies published every day. If its such a horrible word why do certain groups call each other that word?? From spousal abuse to dog fights to drugs to firearms charges the list goes on but if you can sling or bounce a ball all thats overlooked. They cant pronounce or spell “athlete” but want to be one. Is NWA music pulled or banned yet? Nope and we all know what that stands for. But thats ok . fans want Wallen back. Hes an amazing artist and song writer. Relatable songs not slinging dope and countin’stacks and shooting people and ride a d*ck like some of the crap thats out. We love you MW and hope to see you at a show soon and want more music asap!! No more radio stations for me until hes back. Im on the Dangerous album to and from work for a 45 min drive. Love you Mr Wallen from Jacksonville Fl. !!!!!!

    • Anonymous

      The lyrics tell a story, most people can relate to. So tired of the profanity, and filthy images, all in the name of expression. Express it in private. Anyone can write smut. Use your talent to make a difference..

    • Michele

      Hell to the yes to this post I live in Jacksonville Florida also bring Morgan Wallen back

    • Jeremy

      Using the term snowflakes shows your stance and attitude without saying anything else. You are one of the weak, pathetic people who love to point fingers without taking responsibility. You want to validate what you deem appropriate while ignoring what is obviously wrong. Your beliefs are your beliefs from either what you were taught or what you want to believe, without having done any research or possessing any real understanding. FYI – the confederate flag does not “represent the South” as it has never been adopted as such; it is a symbol of dissent, of white power, of anti-civil rights…and is used as such today.

      • Kaley

        The confederate flag is a sign of pride in the south. The only people who think it is a sign of racists are extremists and liberal idiots. People who fly it in the south are doing so for southern pride and way of life, not to offend people. Stop being so sensitive. A few people who used it in racist acts has ruined it for everybody.

      • Cancel Hypocricy

        Pot calling the kettle. YOURE trying to redeem what YOU think is right. Your opinion shouldnt stop people who like his music from hearing it. Dont like it dont listen to it. Dont buy downloads. Dont go to his shows. Dont watch the videos. You wont be missed. Many of us do like it and want it.

  9. Mari

    Great. Now hopefully cancel culture can EFF off. People make mistakes. All people, all colors, all cultures. Learn from it and move on.

    • Ike

      Doesn’t sound like you have learned from anything. Cancel culture? That’s a pathetic blame-game term. You’re sad.

  10. Mavis Daane

    What upsets me is rap music my son plays says that word and they still play tier music on the radio and the bad words that is said about women we should protest about that i thought women should never be treated bad. I love his music please keep making great songs

    • Kiko

      Get over yourself. This argument is an empty excuse and not the same situation.

      • Kaley

        N***** is said all the time in rap songs and blacks and whites never bat an eye about it. So yes it is a huge double standard. If he had said it to a black person in a derogatory way then yea you’re a dumbass bye. He still shouldn’t have said it, but in the context he said it, it’s very common and have these people condemning him have done the same thing if not worse.

  11. Huge fan Morgan

    Bring back hes great at what he does and that is singing. There is alot out there worst music ever but not his just because he made a bad call on one word.

    • Larry Murry

      Yeah, his words and actions didn’t affect you so it’s no big deal. Here’s one word for you – ignorant.

      • Cancel Hypocricy

        It affected you directly? He said “that word” to you? Since hes so offensive why are you here on an article about him? Go now and practice being a saint.