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Embattled country star Morgan Wallen's album sales, streams skyrocket following racial slur controversy, subsequent label suspension

 Morgan Wallen does not yet appear to be suffering the effects of a record label suspension following the release of a video in which he used the N-word.


What's a brief history here?

TMZ on Tuesday reported that Wallen came under fire over the weekend after using the N-word in a video following a rowdy night out.

Following the video's release, Big Loud Records — Wallen's record label — issued an indefinite suspension of Wallen.

According to TMZ:

The country star and a group of buddies had just spent a night out in Nashville. When they arrived at Morgan's home at around midnight, they were extremely loud ... honking horns and talking loudly ... loud enough to piss off neighbors. One of the neighbors began recording the antics. As Morgan appears to stumble toward his house, he tells someone to watch over a guy in his group. He says ... "take care of this "p****-ass mother******" — and then goes on to say, "take care of this p****-ass n*****" ... before finally heading in.

Wallen's record label wasn't the only entity set on punishing him over the language he used in the video: Both iHeartMedia and Entercom radio also announced that their respective stations would be removing all of Wallen's music from their libraries.

Wallen has since apologized for using the word.

"I'm embarrassed and sorry," he said in a statement. "I used an unacceptable and inappropriate racial slur that I wish I could take back. There are no excuses to use this type of language, ever. I want to sincerely apologize for using the word. I promise to do better."

What's happening now?

According to a Tuesday report from the Associated Press, Wallen's latest album is skyrocketing in sales.

The sophomore record, "Dangerous: The Double Album," is, at the time of this reporting, retaining its top spot for a fourth week in a row on Billboard's all-genre albums chart.

"The country music industry acted swiftly to publicly rebuke him and radio stations and streaming services removed his songs from their playlists," the outlet reported, "but fans responded by playing him even more."

The outlet cites MRC Data, which reports that Wallen's latest album sold 25,000 copies during week ending Feb. 4, which is an increase of 102 percent week over week. Billboard also reported that streaming of "Dangerous: The Double Album" increased by 3%, and online downloads increased 67%.

"The bump in interest extended beyond just Wallen's current album," the AP added. "Daily sales of his first album 'If I Know Me,' released in 2018, also increased from 200 to 2,500 on the week ending Feb. 4."

The outlet cited Hannah Karp, Billboard's editorial director, who insists that some of the new interest is coming from people who are curious about Wallen following the controversy.

"His fans are likely streaming him more because they can't hear him on the radio anymore," Karp explained. "Some fans may be streaming him more in addition to show their support for him, which is something that super fans and fan armies often do. ... We haven't seen the full effect of radio dropping his music from playlists. Radio is a really powerful driver of consumption, so it's possible that will end up in decreasing streaming and sales eventually."

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