This full list of nominees for this year’s American Music Awards was unveiled this morning, and you may notice something peculiar while looking at the list as it appears on the AMAs website: Controversial country star Morgan Wallen earned two nominations — Favorite Male Country Artist and Favorite Country Album for Dangerous: The Double Album — but both of his listings include asterisks. That’s because, despite his nominations, Wallen is banned from attending this year’s ceremony (which airs November 21 on ABC).
A note at the bottom of the AMAs nominations page, attributed to MRC Live & Alternative, reads:
“Unique among awards shows, American Music Awards (AMA) nominees are determined by performance on the Billboard Charts and are not chosen by a voting committee or membership organization. AMA nominees are based on key fan interactions with music (including streaming, album sales, song sales, radio airplay, social engagement), tracked by Billboard and its data partner MRC Data. The AMA winners are voted entirely by fans.
Morgan Wallen is a nominee this year based on charting. As his conduct does not align with our core values, we will not be including him on the show in any capacity (performing, presenting, accepting).
We plan to evaluate his progress in doing meaningful work as an ally to the Black community and will consider his participation in future shows.”
The “core values” hyperlink leads to a page on MRC Live & Alternative’s website titled “Our Commitment To Diversity, Equity & Inclusion.” It reads in part, “MRC is an anti-racist organization committed to diversity, equity and inclusion in our company, on our platforms, in our products and with our partners. As an entertainment company we believe the best stories are told through diverse and authentic voices and representation in front of and behind the camera. […] Our differences make us a vibrant and successful company and we strongly encourage our partners to adhere to our stated values as part of our expectations of doing business with one another.”
Find the full list of 2021 AMAs nominees here.