Morgan Wallen Takes Home New Artist of the Year at the 2020 CMA Awards
"Well, I did not expect to get this," Wallen said in his acceptance speech. "I'd like to thank the good Lord, first of all. I'd like to thank my mama for always being the one to push me to sing, for my dad for always making the sacrifices for me and my family so I could sing."
He continued, "And for my team, and for Nashville for accepting me into your family. It's been a great five years since I've moved here. Thank you guys so much, God bless you."
Wallen beat out Jimmie Allen, Ingrid Andress, Gabby Barrett and Carly Pearce to take home the CMA's New Artist of the Year honor. The award was presented by Lauren Akins, the wife of Thomas Rhett, the musician whom she noted was "actually nominated twice for the award I'm about to present, so I know firsthand what a huge milestone it is in an artist's career just to be recognized as one of the emerging talents in country music. And I'm personally so thrilled to see what the journey ahead holds for these next artists."
Wallen's had an interesting month leading up to his CMAs win. He was bumped from a scheduled performance on Saturday Night Live after images emerged of him flouting social distance and mask rules amid the coronavirus pandemic. Then, earlier his week, the singer argued that concerts should be able to proceed if people were celebrating President-elect Joe Biden's win in the streets.