Country music star Morgan Wallen told fans on Tuesday that he has signed a major global publishing deal with Warner Chappell Music (WCM), according to The Daily Caller.
The partnership will put Wallen on a glide path to collaborate with upcoming artists while supporting the promotion of Wallen’s existing catalogue, WCM said in a statement. WCM President and CEO Ben Vaughn said the sky is the limit for Wallen, the top-selling artist of 2023.
“I look forward to working with Warner Chappell as my new music publishing partner and would like to thank them for also offering support in signing songwriters I believe in,” Wallen said in the press release. “In many ways, I feel like I’ve always been a songwriter first, and because of that, the publishing community is especially close to my heart. I’m honored to use this partnership as an opportunity to give other songwriters a helping hand. Thanks to Ben, Phil, Jessi, and their great team.”
Known for genre-busting collaborations with other country stars like Jason Aldean for “You Make It Easy” and “Wild As Her” with Corey Kent, Wallen continues to push the boundaries of country. In December, rapper Drake released the music video for his hit “You Broke My Heart” co-starring Wallen as the lyrical duo bond over dinner about the dislike of a particular woman.
— KAY SMYTHE (@KaySmythe) December 20, 2023
According to Luminate’s year-end report, Wallen surpassed all musicians with his album One Thing at a Time, amassing 5.362 million equivalent units across physical and digital sales as well as streaming services. No other musician’s mix even crossed the four million mark in 2023, signifying the grip the controversial star holds over the music industry today. The closest competitor, Taylor Swift’s Midnights, collected just 3.2 million units.
Wallen’s staying power is even more remarkable. Despite releasing his last album more than two years ago, it remained in the top 10 most-sold albums of 2023. His hit “Last Night” spent 16 nonconsecutive weeks atop the Billboard charts.
The Tennessee native ran headfirst into cancel culture in 2021 after uttering a racial slur during a drunken outing caught on camera, costing him recording deals with several labels.
“I’m embarrassed and sorry. 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,” Wallen said to TMZ.
However, years of cancel culture may have reached a breaking point by then. Wallen quickly began selling out stadium concerts. Meanwhile, one of the country music stations that led the call to cancel him changed its name to ‘Morgan 103.7′ for a weekend to acknowledge his enduring popularity.