Morgan Wallen took to the Bridgestone Arena stage during the 56th Annual CMA Awards to perform his seventh No. 1 single “You Proof,” and his 2-year-old son Indigo (Indie) Wilder cheered him on from home.
According to a social media post from indie’s mom KT Smith, Wallen’s son was “watching his daddy” on TV as he provided the tune’s live TV debut.
Wallen, who was named CMA’s 2020 New Artist of the Year, was joined by his full touring band to perform his latest chart-topping hit during Country Music’s Biggest Night.
In the adorable photo, Indie could be seen wearing a diaper while glued to the TV screen starring Wallen, from downtown Nashville.
Smith also shared how upset she was that Wallen hadn’t won any of the CMA Awards for which he was nominated, including Entertainer of the Year and Singer of the Year.
“@cma makes it better,” Smith wrote on her Instagram Stories. “You robbed the man with the greatest talent tonight. Really disgusting.”
She went on to explain that she usually keeps quiet, but admitted that this time she just had to say something.
“I usually keep my mouth shut, but this time I couldn’t. Hardy and Mo should have won most of those awards tonight. Without a doubt, everyone knows that Mo was the most talented in this room. but robbing someone of something they rightly deserve is disgusting,” Smith continued. “I’m glad you received this year’s CMA awards for your views – but it’s likely many of us won’t be watching afterward. We all know that the one who sells out all his shows night after night, spends hours in the studio to keep his fans happy, breaks records, and the one who does whatever it takes to make his son proud is the one who does it should have won tonight.”
Some fans took to social media to share similar opinions on the show’s outcome.
“When a guy whose album was in the Billboard Top 10 for 86 weeks doesn’t win awards, you know you have to look at the CMAs. @MorganWallen got robbed,” one fan passionately wrote.
— Gena Graddy (@gena_graddy) November 10, 2022
“Shame on you CMA! Morgan Wallen has sold more tickets and outbid every country singer, but you refuse to take credit for his success! #rigged,” shared another.
Shame on you CMA! Morgan Wallen has sold more tickets and sold out every country singer, but you refuse to acknowledge his success! #manipulated
— Real Estate Agent TAMI BEHLER (@TamiBehler) November 10, 2022
While Wallen didn’t take home any trophies, he’s still seeing massive hits on the sales, airplay, and streaming charts.
“You Proof” recently topped the country radio chart for several weeks. The infectious track was released earlier this year and made a huge impact on country radio on its official debut, racking up 52 additions in its first week and 94 overall.
The Heartbreak Anthem was co-written by Wallen with Ashley Gorley, Ernest K. Smith and Charlie Handsome. The song, released to streaming services in honor of Wallen’s 29th birthday, sees the country hitmaker singing about the need to drown his memories with a bottle of something strong after a breakup.
“I need something you prove / Something stronger than I’m used to / Yes, I’ve cast ninety to a hundred / Feel like nothing will cut it, that’s the hard truth / Yes, I need something you prove / Oh, I need something you prove,” he sings.
En route to broadcasting the 2022 CMA Awards, Wallen was nominated for Male Singer of the Year and the evening’s top award, Entertainer of the Year. His song “Sand In My Boots”, written by HARDY, Ashley Gorley and Josh Osborne, was also nominated for Song Of The Year.
The 56th Annual CMA Awards featured performances by Luke Combs, Morgan Wallen, Miranda Lambert, Carrie Underwood, Luke Bryan, Cole Swindell, Cody Johnson and Carly Pearce.
The show opened with an all-star tribute to the late Loretta Lynn by Underwood, Reba McEntire and Lambert.
Underwood, Dierks Bentley, Jon Pardi and Lainey Wilson have teamed up to honor 2022 CMA Willie Nelson Lifetime Achievement Award recipient Alan Jackson.
Additionally, the show included star-studded collaborations from Kelsea Ballerini, Kelly Clarkson and Carly Pearce, HARDY and Lainey Wilson, Elle King with The Black Keys, Brothers feat. The War and Treaty, Thomas Rhett and Katy Perry, Chris Stapleton with Patty Loveless, Zac Brown Band, Jimmie Allen and Marcus King, and Ashley McBryde with Pillbox Patti, Brandy Clark, Caylee Hammack and John Osborne.
Mookie Betts, BRELAND, Jessica Chastain, Jordan Davis, Sarah Drew, Cole Hauser, Tyler Hubbard, Wynonna Judd, Lady A, Rex Linn, Little Big Town, Parker McCollum, Reba McEntire, Ben and Erin Napier, Jeannie Seely, Michael Shannon, and Lainey Wilson were present to present during the ceremony.
Co-hosted by Luke Bryan and Peyton Manning, the 2022 CMA Awards were streamed live from Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena and aired on ABC (8:00 p.m. – 11:00 p.m. ET).
The CMA Awards will also be streaming on Hulu starting Thursday, November 10th.
The 56th Annual CMA Awards was a Country Music Association Production. Robert Deaton served as executive producer, Alan Carter as director and Jon Macks as head writer.
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