Embattled country music star Morgan Wallen has been announced as a headliner for this year’s Kicker Country Stampede. It marks Wallen’s first confirmed performance since he was caught on camera using a racial slur earlier this year.
The three-day music festival, which touts Bud Light as a sponsor, goes down June 24th-26th at Heartland Motorsports Park in Topeka, Kansas. Along with Wallen, the lineup features Luke Combs, Riley Green, Blanco Brown, Maddie & Tae, and Ashley McBryde, among others.
On February 2nd, TMZ posted footage of an intoxicated Wallen shouting in his driveway and using the n-word. While the response within the industry was swift and massive — Wallen’s record contract was suspended, his music was pulled from playlists and radio, he lost his talent agency, and he was officially barred from the Academy of Country Music — the 27-year-old singer-songwriter has not suffered commercially.
His latest album, Dangerous: The Double Album, has spent the first 10 weeks since its release at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 — only the third album in history to claim such a feat. (The other two being Stevie Wonder’s Songs In the Key of Life and Whitney Houston’s Whitney.) And now, he’s back to booking shows, and rather massive ones at that. Kicker Country Stampede, now in its 25th year, is one of country music’s biggest festivals with an average yearly attendance of 160,000.
In a video apology, Wallen said he used the slur at the end of a 72-hour bender, and announced he would be meeting with Black organizations, executives, and leaders to” engage in some very real and honest conversations.”