FILE - Morgan Wallen arrives at the 54th annual Academy of Country Music Awards on April 7, 2019, in Las Vegas. Wallen fans are buying up his latest album after he appeared on a video shouting a racial slur. Wallen’s sophomore record, “Dangerous: The Double Album” retains its top spot for a fourth week on Billboard’s all-genre albums chart.

FILE – Morgan Wallen arrives at the 54th annual Academy of Country Music Awards on April 7, 2019, in Las Vegas. Wallen fans are buying up his latest album after he appeared on a video shouting a racial slur. Wallen’s sophomore record, “Dangerous: The Double Album” retains its top spot for a fourth week on Billboard’s all-genre albums chart.

Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP

Country music star Morgan Wallen issued an apology late Wednesday, more than a week after he was seen in a viral video using a racial slur.

Wallen was subsequently suspended from his record label, Big Loud Records, and was removed from thousands of radio stations throughout the United States last week.

Wallen previously issued an apology to TMZ. Wednesday was the first time he publicly spoke about the Jan. 31 incident.

“It matters. My words matter,” Wallen said in a five-minute video posted to Instagram.

Wallen said he was “on hour 72” of a “bender” when he used the racial slur. He’s now been sober for nine days, he said.

“I let so many people down who have meant a lot to me and given so much to me, and it’s just not fair,” Wallen said.

Last week, Spotify and Apple Music playlists pulled music by Wallen, who was named New Artist of the Year at the 2020 CMA Awards.

Television station CMT said it removed Wallen’s content from its platforms, and the Academy of Country Music made him ineligible for this year’s awards show, McClatchy News reported.

Wallen asked his fans to not defend his actions, and he said he was “fully accepting” his penalties.

“This week I heard firsthand some personal stories from Black people that honestly shook me,” Wallen said. “I know what I’m going through this week doesn’t even compare to some of the trials I heard about from them.”

He said he accepted invitations from Black organizations “to engage in some very real and honest conversations.” Last week, the president of Nashville’s NAACP branch released a statement to McClatchy News offering to educate Wallen on the racial slur.

Broadcast Music Inc., which represents songwriters in various genres, also said its adviser and Gospel-music legend, BeBe Winans, would reach out to Wallen “to help him understand the gravity and impact of his words.”

Mickey Guyton, Maren Morris and Kelsea Ballerini were among the country musicians who criticized Wallen’s most recent actions.

Wallen said he has “many more things to learn” but said he does not want to cause any more division.

“This week was a big lesson in that we can do just that without even knowing,” Wallen said. “Our actions matter, our words matter. I just want to encourage anyone watching to learn from my mistakes.”

Since the viral video, Wallen topped the Billboard 200 chart for the fourth straight week for his most recent album, “Dangerous: The Double Album.”

He also has had several of the top songs and albums on the iTunes chart in the past week, McClatchy News reported.

Mike Stunson covers real-time news for McClatchy. He is a 2011 Western Kentucky University graduate who has previously worked at the Paducah Sun and Madisonville Messenger as a sports reporter and the Lexington Herald-Leader as a breaking news reporter.
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