Morgan Wallen Reacts to His CMA Awards Losses

The War and Treaty’s passionate performance, Jelly Roll and K. Michelle’s gospel-inflected tribute to The Judds and more.

Heading into this year’s CMA Awards, Morgan Wallen was among the frontrunners in key categories including entertainer of the year, album of the year (for his album One Thing at a Time) and male vocalist of the year. But he walked away empty handed after the Wednesday (Nov. 8) ceremony held at Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena.

Wallen responded to his lack of wins on his Instagram Stories late on Wednesday night with the simple message, “Walked in tonight a winner, didn’t leave no different.”

He’s got a point: His album One Thing at a Time topped the leaderboard on the all-genre Billboard 200 for 16 weeks, while his song “Last Night” topped the Billboard Hot 100 for the same amount of time. Meanwhile, Wallen’s One Night at a Time Tour included sold-out arena and stadium shows and made stops not only in the U.S. and Canada, but also in Australia.

Luke Combs won male vocalist, while the night’s big winner, Lainey Wilson, took home album of the year for her Bell Bottom Country project and — in one of the night’s biggest surprises — the entertainer of the year award.

Wallen did, however, perform twice during the show. He sang with Eric Church on “Man Made a Bar,” and teamed with HARDY and Post Malone for a tribute to the late Joe Diffie.

Wallen previously took home a CMA Award win for new artist of the year in 2020, marking his only CMA Awards win to date. Of course, Wallen is far from the first country artist to miss out on a key CMA Awards win; some artists who have never taken home a CMA Award win at all include Marty Robbins, Dwight Yoakam and Johnny Paycheck.

But he’s got another chance to take home some trophies later this month. The country star is a 2023 Billboard Music Awards finalist with 17 nominations, tied with SZA and second only to Taylor Swift, who has 20 nominations. Stream the event on Nov. 19 via, or via Billboard and the BBMAs’ social channels.

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