He gained his first exposure as a contestant on The Voice, but was eliminated during the playoffs. During this time he also released a self-titled EP via Panacea Records. It was a signing to Big Loud (a country label owned by Record Producer Joey Moi and Nashville songwriter Craig Wiseman) that got Wallen his big breakthrough. Although his first country song "The Way I Talk" bombed, he got an unexpected hit in 2017 with "Up Down", which featured Florida Georgia Line on guest vocals. Following this, both "Whiskey Glasses" and "Chasin' You" off the same album also topped the country charts, with the former even being ranked by Billboard as the biggest country music hit of 2019.
Wallen released several promotional and featured songs throughout 2019 and 2010, including a cover of Jason Isbell's "Cover Me Up" and a collaboration with Diplo on "Heartless". This was followed in 2020 by "More Than My Hometown" and "7 Summers", the lead singles to his double album Dangerous: The Double Album. The hits continued despite a widely-publicized controversy where he was booted from a guest spot on Saturday Night Live after being spotted hosting a huge party in direct violation of COVID-19 protocols.
Wallen became further entangled in controversy in February 2021 when TMZ leaked video of him shouting racial slurs at neighbors; following said leak was a severe backlash which saw his music removed from streaming services and radio playlists, along with a suspension from Big Loud. Despite this, he continued to hold the #1 position on Top Country Albums for much of 2021, and radio stations started reinstating his music by summertime.
- Morgan Wallen (EP) (2015)
- If I Know Me (2018)
- Dangerous: The Double Album (2020)
Tropes present in his work:
- Beer Goggles: Referenced in "Whiskey Glasses", which uses the lyric "Imma need some whiskey glasses / 'Cause I don't wanna see the truth".
- '80s Hair: Known for bringing mullets back into fashion in country music, long after the heyday of Billy Ray Cyrus and Joe Diffie.
- Auto-Tune: He's produced by Joey Moi, so it's to be expected. "Up Down" and "Talkin' Tennessee" are particularly strong offenders.
- Loudness War: Much like with Florida Georgia Line and other Big Loud artists, Joey Moi's over-reliance on power chords, drum machines, and Auto-Tune does a lot to muddy the production.
- Love Nostalgia Song: "7 Summers":But I wonder when you're drinkin'
If you find yourself thinkin'
About that boy from East Tennessee
And I know we both knew better
But we still said forever
And that was seven summers ago
- Ode to Intoxication: "Whiskey Glasses"
- Self-Deprecation: He appeared As Himself on Saturday Night Live to make fun of his removal from the show two months earlier.
- Serial Escalation: In January 2021, six of the tracks off Dangerous: The Double Album landed in the top 10 of the country charts... including "Wasted on You" debuting at #1, making him the only artist ever to have two songs debut at #1 on that chart. And the first artist to debut atop Top Country Albums and Hot Country Songs at the same time.
- The Runner-Up Takes It All: Eliminated from the playoffs on Season 6 of The Voice,