Morgan Wallen says he’s in a really good headspace now, after taking a nearly month-long break from the spotlight in the wake of getting pulled from Saturday Night Live‘s lineup for breaking COVID-19 protocol.
While the “More Than My Hometown” singer doesn’t love the circumstances that led to this self-imposed break, he’s grateful. Talking to Bobbycast podcast host Bobby Bones, Wallen reveals that he unplugged from his life in Nashville.
“I took awhile, like almost two weeks, and just turned my phone off and didn’t even look at it,” he says late in the newest episode. “Drove on the tractor, things like that, and just cleared my head. It was really, really good to me.”
It’s not clear if Wallen stayed in Nashville, returned to his hometown near Knoxville, Tenn., or went elsewhere. What is clear is that he addressed some issues he’s been dealing with for quite awhile.
“Throughout this whole process there’s been times where, for awhile, I would just be like, ‘Man, I’m kind of like lonely and I don’t even know if I like this,'” admits Wallen, who’ll perform during Wednesday’s (Nov. 11) CMA Awards. “And then, you know, there’s another high and you’re like, ‘Oh yeah. I love this.’ It kind of just goes through phases, and I’ve kind of just had been living like that. It’s like, can I not maybe do something to combat that? Maybe I don’t need to be so moody. It was almost a good thing for me.
“It kind of forced me away just to reflect and look at myself and kind of get to know myself again. It was good for me,” he says.
See Morgan Wallen and Country Stars From The Voice, Then + Now:
Talk of Wallen’s break and the incidents that led to him being removed from the late-night NBC sketch comedy show is just a small part of a conversation that focuses mostly on how Wallen found fame after focusing on sports growing up and appearing on The Voice. At one point, Bones points out that he understood why, at age 27, Wallen might be out there partying with a college crowd. Wallen didn’t take the opportunity to justify his actions, however.
“I understand both sides of it a little bit,” he says. “I know that I got young kids that look up to me and all those kinds of things, too. I want to be mindful of things. I’m not going to let people control the way that I live my life, but I also want to be mindful.
“Honestly, I have a son now, and I don’t know that I’d be proud to show him those videos, you know,” Wallen adds. “I got to think about some things a little bit differently.”
On social media, Wallen shares that in addition to appearing on the 2020 CMA Awards, he’ll release a music video for his song “7 Summers” and plans for new music next week:
Wallen stepped away from the spotlight in early October after photos and videos surfaced that showed him partying without a mask on, in close proximity to other people, after a University of Alabama football game. Several videos caught the “Whiskey Glasses“ singer kissing various women, which broke protocol for Saturday Night Live, on which he was scheduled to perform on Oct. 10.
The SNL incident came after months of ups and downs for Wallen in 2020. Musically, songs such as “Chasin’ You” and “More Than My Hometown“ became radio hits, and “7 Summers” found some crossover success. His album remains among the Top 3 on Billboard’s Country Album chart, and anticipation is high for his next album.
That excitement was muted by an arrest for public intoxication and disorderly conduct at Kid Rock’s bar in May (a judge declined to prosecute). “We didn’t mean any harm, and we want to say sorry to any bar staff or anyone that was affected,” Wallen said later on Twitter.
In July, Wallen surprised his fans by announcing he had become a father. Indigo Wilder was born to the singer’s ex-fiancee on July 10.
Little Wilder, I’m a changed man. Since you came into the world Friday, I see mine differently now. It’s not just me anymore, and I’m glad it’s not,” Wallen writes in sharing the news with fans. “This year has been the hardest of my life in so many ways, but that’s not what I will remember it by. You are. You are a gift and this tough year just made sense.