NASHVILLLE, Tenn. – Morgan Wallen fans are buying the country star’s latest album after a video showed him yelling a racial slur last week.
Wallen’s second album, “Dangerous: The Double Album,” Retains No.1 spot for Fourth Week on Billboard’s All Genre Albums chart, less than a week after Wallen apologizes for using racist language .
The country music industry has moved quickly to reprimand him publicly and radio stations and streaming services have removed his songs from their playlists. But fans responded by playing him even more.
Billboard reports that their latest album sold 25,000 copies in the week ending Feb. 4, an increase of 102%, according to MRC Data. Billboard reported that the album’s stream number increased slightly by 3%, to around 160 million on-demand streams. Downloads of songs from the album also increased by 67%.
Wallen’s popularity had skyrocketed last year, and songs like “Seven Summers” and “Wasted on You” earned him crossover success on pop radio. Her album was already setting streaming records and is the first country album to spend four weeks atop the Billboard 200 since 2003, when Shania Twain’s album “Up!” spent five weeks at the top.
Hannah Karp, editorial director of Billboard, said interest in her music came from people curious about Wallen in the wake of the scandal and media attention. But she said it also shows how her fans are reacting to decisions to take him off the radio as well.
“His fans are probably broadcasting it more because they can’t hear it on the radio anymore,” Karp said. “Some fans may broadcast it more in addition to showing their support for it, which super fans and armies of fans often do.”
Karp noted that in general, album sales and downloads are much lower than streaming numbers for all artists, so it doesn’t take much to cause a big sales spike.
Karp said it may be too early to predict the long-term consequences for Wallen.
“We haven’t seen the full effect of radio dropping its music from playlists. Radio is a really powerful consumer engine, so there is a possibility that it will end up decreasing streaming and sales, ”she said.
Kristin M. Hall of The Associated Press wrote this story.