Morgan Wallen, one of the biggest male artists in the music industry today, is enjoying massive success with his hit single “Last Night” and its parent album, “One Thing At A Time.” Wallen has undoubtedly become one of the dominant figures in country music for the 2020 decade. As the Grammy Awards nominations are now open, fans and industry insiders are speculating about Wallen’s potential nominations and wins.
However, Tracy Gershon, Recording Academy Nashville Chapter Trustee, cautions that the Grammy Awards don’t necessarily prioritize commercial success. According to her, Grammy voters tend to focus on artistic merit rather than sheer popularity. Notably, “Last Night” has recently spent 16 non-consecutive weeks at the top of the Billboard Hot 100 charts, while “One Thing At A Time” is the biggest album of 2023. Nevertheless, the history of the Grammys shows that commercially successful records don’t always secure nominations or wins.
Examples include Bonnie Raitt’s “Just Like That,” which won Song of the Year last year despite being relatively unknown to the general public. The Grammy’s track record demonstrates a preference for artistic merit over commercial success. Wallen could potentially receive his first Grammy nomination in 2024.
Moreover, Wallen’s past controversies, such as racial slurs and COVID-19 protocol violations, may also affect his nomination chances. While some on the West and East Coasts may hold reservations about him, people in the Midwest appear to have moved on. Gershon suggests that “Last Night” may not have resonated as much with coastal areas compared to its strong appeal in middle America.
As the upcoming awards season approaches, Morgan Wallen faces stiff competition from numerous country music artists, including Luke Combs, Lainey Wilson, Jelly Roll, Chris Stapleton, Tanya Tucker, Ashley McBryde, Brandy Clark, Maren Morris, and Megan Moroney. Wallen’s nomination and success at the Grammys remain uncertain, as artistic merit and regional differences in appeal play crucial roles in the voting process.