Despite a massive industry-wide cancellation — or more likely, because of it — Morgan Wallen is now enjoying a record-setting sales streak for his latest album, Dangerous: The Double Album.
Morgan Wallen’s latest album easily cruised to another top position on multiple charts this morning, including the Billboard 200 and the RS 200. According to Billboard’s rankings, that’s the first time any country album has spent its first nine weeks at number one. No other country artist has ever achieved that, putting Morgan Wallen in the history books with more records potentially ahead.
Perhaps more astoundingly, Wallen is now chasing an 11-week record set by Taylor Swift’s Fearless back in 2008-9. The only other artists to beat that streak are Billy Ray Cyrus, whose Some Gave All spent 17 weeks at the top of the charts in 1992, and Garth Brooks, whose Ropin’ the Wind spent 18 weeks at number one in 1991-2. But surprisingly, none of those artists have clocked nine straight chart-topping weeks out of the gate.
The unexpected development has pitted Wallen against the Academy of Country Music, who declared the singer ineligible to receive any awards at the upcoming Country Music Awards.
But that decision, issued in early February after Wallen was filmed uttering a racial slur, is now setting the stage for a tense event. Despite smashing the aforementioned records, Digital Music News has recently learned that the Academy has demanded that Wallen’s name not be mentioned before, during, or after the broadcast.
It’s also worth noting that Morgan Wallen was also banned by the Grammys, hosted by the Recording Academy, which aired last night.
Elsewhere, broadcast radio stations across the United States remain committed to banning Wallen’s music, despite heavy protests from fans. That appears to be sending a flood of listeners to platforms like Spotify, where the artist is gradually being reinstated into marquee country playlists. Elsewhere, Wallen remains banned at Sirius XM and Pandora, though it’s now clear that Wallen’s label, Big Loud/Republic (Universal Music Group), is actively working Dangerous despite ‘indefinitely suspending’ the artist.
Looking ahead, it appears that Dangerous is likely to spend a 10th week atop the album charts, though there’s competition ahead. Most notably, Justin Bieber’s Justice is slated to drop on Friday, March 19th, setting up a significant battle in week 11. Currently, Bieber’s “Hold On” is charting well on Spotify with more than 30 million streams, though part of Wallen’s success comes from fans putting the country singer’s album on repeat.