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Despite recent controversy, country music star Morgan Wallen is officially the best-selling artist of 2021.
On February 2nd, footage emerged of the 27-year-old musician using a racial slur. In response to the video, a number of radio stations and streaming services removed his music from their playlists.
Spotify removed Wallen from at least 14 playlists; including the Hot Country playlist, which has 6.239 million followers, and the Pop Rising playlist with 2.04 million. Wallen’s feature on the former was his main source of discovery on Spotify. Whilst Apple Music Wallen from at least 21 playlists, including Today’s Country and A-List Pop.
Wallen’s label, Big Loud Records, also announced that they would be suspending Wallen’s recording contract “indefinitely.”
“In the wake of recent events, Big Loud Records has made the decision to suspend Morgan Wallen’s recording contract indefinitely,” the company tweeted at the time. “Republic Records fully supports Big Loud’s decision and agrees such behavior will not be tolerated.”
Despite this widespread backlash, Morgan Wallen’s second album Dangerous: The Double Album, continues to dominate.
The record has earned the number one spot on the Billboard 200 for the sixth week straight. According to the Billboard 200 chart dated February 27, Wallen’s second album posted a total of 93,000 album units for the week with 81,000 counted as streaming equivalent album units and 10,000 units pure album sales.
Morgan Wallen is the first male artist to earn six consecutive weeks atop the chart since Drake’s 2016 record Views — which ruled the number one spot for thirteen weeks. Dangerous is also the first country album to spend its first six weeks at No. 1 since Garth Brooks’ 1992 release The Chase.
In addition to his chart success, MRC Data reveals that Morgan Wallen also tops both on-demand streaming and ‘overall album consumption units.’ The data reveals that 25% of Wallen’s 2021 sales came during the 9-day period following the leaked video.