Sitting on a stool and singing stoically in a circle with his band members surrounded by the audience, Morgan Wallen returned to award show performance with “Don’t Think Jesus.” He then sang “Wasted On You” in a second performance after thanking the cheering crowd and putting his guitar away.
Sean “Diddy” Combs — the show’s host and producer — discussed Wallen’s performance in an interview with Billboard last week, addressing that this was Wallen’s first performance since his controversy last year. “The mood of the show is about love and forgiveness. As a musical family, none of us are saints; none of us are without things that happen to them in life. So one of the things I’m doing directly is un-canceling the canceled… people haven’t been about uncanceling. But canceling is a trend that needs to stop.”
He added of Wallen, “Morgan [used the N-word] while talking to his boy. People make mistakes. Now we’re moving on with love and respect for everybody that was hurt or affected. It’s time to forgive. To have Morgan be able to come back and touch the stage again with the mindset of getting a second chance at life. Everybody in the room is getting a second chance.”