Jason Isbell Donated $53,000 From Morgan Wallen Song Royalties
On the latest album from embattled country music star Morgan Wallen called Dangerous, he included a cover version of the song “Cover Me Up” originally released by Americana songwriter Jason Isbell on his 2013 album Southeastern. After the controversy involving Morgan Wallen’s use of the N-word on January 31st, 2021, Jason Isbell pledged to donate his songwriter royalties from the song to the NAACP, which along with the entire Dangerous album, was swelling in sales, downloads, and streams due to the controversy.
“So… A portion of this money goes to me, since I wrote ‘Cover Me Up,’” Isbell said on Twitter on February 10th, 2021 as a response to a story on Morgan Wallen’s surging sales. “I’ve decided to donate everything I’ve made so far from this album to the Nashville chapter of the NAACP. Thanks for helping out a good cause, folks.”
Morgan Wallen also made a pledge of his own. In an interview with Michael Strahan on Good Morning America on July 23rd, Wallen pledged to donate $500,000 to Black charities, which at the time was a rough estimate of the additional money Wallen had made from Dangerous due to the controversy.
Despite Morgan Wallen having donated $400,000 of the pledged $500,000 in the months proceeding his promise, Rolling Stone published a now debunked article claiming Wallen had only fulfilled $165,000 of his original pledge. Both Saving Country Music, and USA Today were able to independently verify that Rolling Stone‘s claims were false, but this didn’t stop numerous other outlets from rebroadcasting the incorrect information. Wallen subsequently donated the final $100,000 of the pledge to The National Museum of African American Music in Nashville.
The questions swirling around Morgan Wallen’s pledged donations also had numerous people wondering if Jason Isbell ever fulfilled his pledged donation. After months of attempting to receive a response from the Nashville chapter of the NAACP to independently verify Isbell’s donation, they finally responded to Saving Country Music the first week of February, and confirmed Jason Isbell did indeed fulfill his end of the bargain, and to the tune of roughly $53,000 that was sent to the National NAACP chapter.
“We absolutely appreciate him honoring his word in making that donation,” Sheryl Guinn of the NAACP tells Saving Country Music. “We appreciate those funds because we are definitely able to use that in advocacy against any inequality that we come across. That money will be put to very good use advocating against inequality. So we appreciate him making good on that promise, and trusting us with those funds to make a difference in this world.”
The NAACP was not able to supply a specific time when the donation was made, but said it was, “Quite some time ago.”
Meanwhile, despite both The USA Today and Saving Country Music verifying Morgan Wallen’s donations totaling $500,000, Rolling Stone has now tripled down on trying to call into question the donations under the canard that since the donations were facilitated through Wallen’s Big Loud record label instead of Wallen himself, they supposedly don’t count.
In a new Rolling Stone article published on February 2nd titled “Did Dropping the N-Word Actually Help Morgan Wallen’s Career,” Rolling Stone says, “…the way the money was ultimately donated was convoluted. Big Loud, not Wallen personally, gave $300,000 to BMAC,” while linking to the original Rolling Stone story with the false claims as the source.
Rolling Stone‘s continued insistence to question Morgan Wallen’s donations in no way changes the fact that $500,000 that would have ended up in Morgan Wallen’s bank account ultimately ended up in the hands of Black charities as Morgan Wallen pledged. But it may disincentivize future individuals from making such pledges if the the media—acting in bad faith—continues to misrepresent the nature of those donations, and uses them as an attack vector as opposed to the recompense for wrongdoing, and putting substantive action behind apologies.
February 8, 2022 @ 9:17 am
Wallen is an idiot, but I don’t get Rolling Stone’s non-factual crusade against him. He does enough stupid shit to deserve criticism; stick with things that are true, RS
February 8, 2022 @ 9:27 am
Rolling Stone was right to ask if Morgan Wallen had made the donations. They made a mistake by going to print too quickly without getting all the information. Morgan Wallen’s camp was apparently no help, but that’s not a reason to post false information. We all make mistakes, and you correct it and move on. But as we’ve seen too often in the media today, they don’t want to admit mistakes that give what they consider their opposition a win, and so they twist the truth in a way that they don’t have to admit they’re wrong. Anyone can see Morgan Wallen made those donations, whether they’re through the label or not. The only entity being injured by failing to admit that at this point is Rolling Stone.
February 8, 2022 @ 11:01 am
Rolling Stone should have stuck to pop culture. They’re biased ideologues and it leads to bad reporting. See “A Rape on Campus” from 2014.
February 8, 2022 @ 11:36 am
Rolling Stone should have stuck to pop culture. They’re straight up ideologues with an agenda – see also, “A Rape on Campus”. The idea that they would be wrong on another story, especially if it meant they get to drag some deplorable, is hardly surprising.
February 10, 2022 @ 10:55 am
Rolling Stone lost their cultural impact long ago, much like MTV. Youtube personalities and websites like this ate up much of that market share. I made a purposeful attempt to never read their magazine after they put the Boston bomber on their cover. Which to be honest is a shame because they had many great music reviews in the distant past.
February 9, 2022 @ 2:49 pm
Rolling Stone’s mistake was, as it usually is, publishing false allegations as fact.
It should be owned by a fraternity at UVa.
February 10, 2022 @ 4:30 pm
Trigger, I’ve never seen a writer defend his piece so much unless he personally has a bias. This is just laughable at this point to see you play cop on this one in defense of Isbell.
February 10, 2022 @ 5:27 pm
Not really following you at all. This is a pretty agnostic article simply reporting that Jason Isbell fulfilled his pledged donation, just like Morgan Wallen. This article was also part of more broad and ongoing reporting about the media’s coverage of Morgan Wallen. If you think I showed some personal bias toward Isbell, perhaps you should read the much more extensive report I did no him:
I do agree it’s unusual that I interact with readers in the comments. But this is what helps lend to such robust discussion in these comments sections. I believe everyone’s opinion and perspective is important. Not just mine.
February 8, 2022 @ 1:29 pm
Morgan did nothing wrong he was out with friends thinking it was pvt called them the n word without the er some chump was out with a camera filmed it and sold it trying to make quick money
February 8, 2022 @ 5:15 pm
He was “out with friends”. That’s when talking ok to use a racial slur? ! Ok good to know…
February 9, 2022 @ 6:21 am
White kids say it all the time now and I hear black kids calling white kids that word too. You might want to get out the house more and get into the 21st century. Yes it’s not appealing and the culture is down the drain but it’s not 1952.
February 10, 2022 @ 7:20 am
As a white guy, I’ve been called the n-word multiple times by black guys I don’t even know. If the word were that heinous, I wouldn’t go around using it to refer to another person, much less a person I don’t know.
February 8, 2022 @ 8:12 pm
Isbell is so Jealous.
February 9, 2022 @ 11:38 am
Jealous of what? Jason Isbell is multitudes more successful as a songwriter and musician than Morgan Wallen.
February 10, 2022 @ 6:39 am
Isbell is jealous of the adoration of Wallen by working class people. I like Isbell’s music, but Isbell’s appeal as a whole ends with the quality of his work. He comes off like a total @sshat.
February 8, 2022 @ 8:27 pm
That person was just wanting a fast buck and got it. Be careful everyone with cameras on cell phone someone may get you next. Jason just helping his career.
February 9, 2022 @ 11:52 am
is drunkenly shouting things in the middle of the street considered a private moment now?
February 10, 2022 @ 9:30 am
It’s not a private conversation if he said it outside loud enough that his neighbors could hear it.
February 8, 2022 @ 4:19 pm
I want to first say that the words that Morgan Wallen used that night were unexceptionable and just wrong. With that being said I am tired of people that can’t let mistakes people make go. Morgan made a bad judgment and has said that he made a mistake and that he is sorry. If you cannot forgive someone for their mistakes you must have never made a mistake or you think you are better then everyone else. Let’s all just forgive and move on.
February 8, 2022 @ 9:20 am
Are they required to make their donor list public? If not, they probably needed his permission to respond. To be honest, I would probably say no if one of the charities I donate to asked if they could respond to a news outlet about whether I donated or not.
Anyway, good on Jason with whom I disagree with a lot but can still write a damn song like nobody’s bidness.
February 8, 2022 @ 9:36 am
Jason Isbell made his intent to donate the money public as part of the Morgan Wallen controversy, and that was widely reported at the time. Generally speaking, I would have taken Jason Isbell at his word that he would make the donation, and there was no reason to think he wouldn’t. When Rolling Stone decided to broach the subject of donations with misleading reporting on Morgan Wallen, a lot of people kept bringing up why were weren’t going back and asking about Jason Isbell’s donation, and why there had been no confirmation on that, which is a fair point. So I reached out to the NAACP to attach that loose thread. I hope this is the final time I have to report on this story.
February 8, 2022 @ 9:51 am
The n-word is a gift that keeps on giving. Certain members of society get to say and use it as often as they like, whereas others have to pay a use tax, regardless of intention or use. In this case, the use tax is paid doubly, as Isbell felt the need to contribute despite not saying it himself.
I’m not a fan of the word, I don’t use it and I don’t like hearing it, but I’ll start caring about stories like this the moment mainstream society agrees that nobody should have a free pass to use it.
February 8, 2022 @ 11:09 am
It’s extortion quite frankly. All over the drunken utterance of a bad word. The double standard is quite ludicrous for any rational mind. Stop the world & let me off. As an aside, check out the minimal coverage of current NYC major saying “I kicked those crackers asses!” all on video. I don’t think CNN or the New York Times even covered it. Now check the Morgan Wallen indiscretion coverage.
February 8, 2022 @ 11:22 am
I agree it’s ridiculous. African Americans feign phony outrage and pretend to be massively offended about a word they say all day to each other
February 8, 2022 @ 11:54 am
There is no double standard here because that word was used to reduce the humanity of Black people for decades by white people.
That said, I do agree it is unhelpful that it continues to be used so freely by some in the Black community, though for some, it is their effort to take the word back, and diminish its power over them. Still, if everyone stopped using it, it would disappear quicker. Morgan Wallen was very likely quoting a commonly used phrase in countless hip-hop songs when he got caught.
February 9, 2022 @ 6:28 am
It’s not like that now. I’m around teens all the time. Regardless of race they use the n-word now like people used to say bud, bro, dude etc..
It’s appalling from my era’s point of view but it is being used by all races. And the f-word is on the same level of usage too now. Among teens and 20 something’s it is prolific.
American culture is trash now more than a lot of people know or want to understand.
I’m totally taken aback but I’m a 20th century product. This is what they listen to. This is what they hear. This is how they talk. It’s bizarre but it’s what’s happening.
February 8, 2022 @ 10:20 am
I guess to “NPR” Isbell types he is, but to the millions of people who made him 2021’s number one selling artist in all of music, I don’t think they’d call Morgan “embattled,” as you did.
My guess is Jason kept his promise “quite some time ago,” since he bragged about it publicly, but the skeptic in me realizes that vague language like that is often used for a reason.
February 8, 2022 @ 3:50 pm
When you’re removed from radio, dropped from your booking agent, suspended by your label, banned from awards shows, and are the #1 focus of negative media in country music more than anyone else in the last 20 years, I would call you “embattled.”
February 8, 2022 @ 6:51 pm
Sounds a little glass half empty. Also perhaps giving too much weight to outraged activist pearl clutchers who forced some industry folk to only temporarily genuflect. Dude was a country singer in 2021 who outsold everyone in all of music, including Adele. Also guested on a number one hip hop song. Radio? The media? Increasingly irrelevant. And apparently his agents son is booking his 2022 tour. I’ve never been a fan myself, but millions of people might see that as glass half full, and I don’t think the default position has to be otherwise.
February 8, 2022 @ 10:32 pm
Removed, dropped, suspended was show.
February 8, 2022 @ 11:06 am
It’s official, you are more butthurt over Jason Isbell’s politics than any Ex Drive by Truckers fan.
February 8, 2022 @ 11:40 am
…and you gleaned that from me posting an article reporting on how Jason Isbell fulfilled his word and donated $53,000?
February 8, 2022 @ 12:44 pm
You will never please the Isbell stans, Trigger. If you write about Isbell, they will come after you with the typical, “Why are you so butthurt?” If, on the other hand, you didn’t write about Isbell, they would still come after you with, likely, the same question. It’s a no-win with the stans, although I submit Isbell-related topics are fun to read and attract quite a bit of traffic in the comments section.
February 10, 2022 @ 4:24 pm
Isbell has made it pretty clear he thinks anyone who doesn’t agree with his left-wing dogma is a piece of worthless shit. We’re allowed to think that back. It’s only human nature — and it’s not like he subscribes to the idea of forgiveness in the first place (just read his comments).
Agree N word is horrible. But Morgan shouldn’t have to give money to a Marxist org to make amends.
February 9, 2022 @ 5:15 am
Things sure have a way of turning 360 in 50 “some odd” years. RS once aimed at main stream media for being “cloudy” with their stories. Now look whose in the line of fire.
February 8, 2022 @ 11:21 am
Isbell is a grandstanding virtue signaling piece of shit.
February 8, 2022 @ 3:02 pm
You sound triggered. Take a Xanax.
February 9, 2022 @ 7:25 am
I wouldn’t call Jason a POS, but his constant virtue signaling and preening moral vanity have become intolerable for me.
I first saw him at his 3rd show as a member of DBT, in November 2001. And it’s taken 20 years, but he’s finally more insufferable than Patterson Hood.
Neil Young’s Potatoes
February 10, 2022 @ 4:57 am
I agree with all of that except the part where you say Isbell isn’t a POS.
February 8, 2022 @ 11:52 am
I know Spotify/etc don’t pay songwriters well, but “Cover Me Up” has millions of spins because of Morgan, and it’s a solo write by Jason. Is 53k the total of the royalties? I’m not accusing so much as asking.
February 8, 2022 @ 12:43 pm
I don’t know the exact math, but streaming royalties are terribly small and then afterwards it gets divided amongst the singer, writers, label etc. 53k is unsurprising, at least to me.
February 8, 2022 @ 1:10 pm
i’m not sure how streaming royalties are determined and divided, but spotify pays like $0.003 per stream, so jason gets idk, like 10% of that? if that’s the case, he makes $0.0003 per stream. spotify has ‘cover me up’ just north of 200 million stream… so ~$60,000, so depending on when he donated it, $53,000 seems about right to me as well.
February 8, 2022 @ 7:39 pm
Article I read years ago had it like 78% going to labels, 14% to artist and 8% to writers. Labels do have an investment in streaming.
February 8, 2022 @ 1:33 pm
Isbell’s pledge was to donate “everything I’ve made so far…” from “Cover Me Up” in February of 2021. My guess is he’s probably made much more since then, but that sounds about right to me of what he likely made up to February 2021.
February 10, 2022 @ 6:48 am
I’m pretty sure Isbell’s love of the vintage music gear he flaunts far outweighs his desire to financially inconvenience himself to prove a point he’s virtue signalling over.
February 8, 2022 @ 12:43 pm
Did it come from Southeastern Records?
If so, it’s moot because it didn’t come from Isbell personally.
February 8, 2022 @ 1:33 pm
strait county 81
February 8, 2022 @ 1:37 pm
You really deleted my post you truly are liberal Bi**h
February 8, 2022 @ 1:50 pm
i saw your post, you used a slur in it.
your regulars really have it out for you lately, trig.
strait county 81
February 8, 2022 @ 2:16 pm
Love the logic he gets emotional when a gay guy uses the word in a hypothetical way😂😂😂
February 8, 2022 @ 9:05 pm
If I were Morgan Wallen who writes some incredible songs of his own…. I would never record another Jason Isbell song.
February 10, 2022 @ 7:01 am
Wallen’s songs are dog slobber in comparison.
February 8, 2022 @ 1:07 pm
February 8, 2022 @ 1:29 pm
I feel this is all wrong. He used the N word in a drunken state of mind amongst his friends. I have black friends that use it daily. If a black artist screamed out or called a friend Cracker , do you think it would become an issue of any kind ? I feel Walken and Jason Isbell should be given back their donations as it was simply words spoken amongst friends and was not meant in a derrogitory fashion. Get a grip people , the sky is not falling.
February 8, 2022 @ 1:42 pm
well, first off, ‘cracker’ certainly doesn’t have the connotation of slavery attached to it. you say your black friends use it daily, do you use it around them? if not, why not?
February 8, 2022 @ 1:58 pm
@steve–I don’t think Wallen should have paid the money, but he chose to do it, so that’s that. And the recipient sure as hell has no reason to turn it down or to give it back.
As far as Isbell, his contribution was voluntary in every sense of the word. If anything, he should give more, for all the virtue signaling he’s been doing
February 8, 2022 @ 1:52 pm
So 400k vs. 53k means Morgan Wallen is 87% more anti-racist than Jason Isbell.
Jason Isbell stans hardest hit.
February 8, 2022 @ 2:09 pm
or by accurate math, wallen used the n-word, isbell did not, so wallen is infinitely more racist.
1/0 = ∞.
February 8, 2022 @ 3:12 pm
That is if you measure racism purely by the number of times someone has said the n-word.
I’ve never called anyone an “n-word” in my life (though I used to use the word when discussing the word itself), but that didn’t stop a woke white shrike (and wife of a now-ex-friend) from screaming at me that I’m a racist because I was wearing a cap that said “All Lives Matter.”
February 8, 2022 @ 3:52 pm
(x*ALM)/0 = ∞^nth
Neil Young’s Potatoes
February 10, 2022 @ 5:03 am
Jason grew up an obnoxious drunk in Alabama. Do you believe he has never uttered the Word That Must Not Be Spoken By The Whites?
Of course he has, and he deserves forgiveness for it. Trigger wrote about forgiveness once…
February 10, 2022 @ 1:12 pm
Lest we forget, by his own admission, Isbell laughed at racist jokes.
“I’m a white man looking in a black man’s eyes
Wishing I’d never been one of the guys
Who pretended not to hear another white man’s joke
Oh, the times ain’t forgotten.”
February 10, 2022 @ 1:22 pm
except it definitely does not say that. how exactly would one laugh at a joke that they are pretending not to hear? although lyrics are open to some interpretation (tho not yours, i guess. lol.) it’s pretty clear he means he wishes he had kept different company, spoke up about the racist jokes, or both.
February 8, 2022 @ 2:17 pm
Interesting look into how much artists actually make on *writing* royalties these days. $56K (or $53K? headline and article show two different numbers) doesn’t sound like much for a writer’s top-selling covered song on a major artist’s #1 Billboard album. And it’s to-date, not even annually?
I personally think Lennon/McCartney should get a portion for coming up with the riff/melody on Norwegian Wood;)
February 8, 2022 @ 2:57 pm
I thought that initially, but it wasn’t a single and there are a whopping 30 tracks on Dangerous (31 on the bonus, 32 on the Target bonus). Anything contributing to the sale of that album is probably financially diluted (if not a single shipped to radio).
$53k (or $56k) without lifting a finger ain’t bad work for letting some chump have sloppy seconds with your song. Years from now, no one will remember Wallen or his version anyways.
February 8, 2022 @ 3:51 pm
The real number is $53,000, which was given to me as a rough estimate.
February 8, 2022 @ 3:03 pm
There is indeed a double standard. I’m quite offended that the mayor of NYC uttered the phrase ‘crackers’ in regard to white police officers as recently as 2019. Are you suggesting that my right to be offended by a racist comment is less than someone of a different race? Also, check out the coverage of Mayor Adams racist comment by CNN and the New York Times (the paper of note in that city). It is non-existent. Now look at their coverage of Morgan Wallen. This mass manipulation should be a problem to us all. I rarely discuss politics, but you continue to bring it up as nauseam. Love the site, aside from this. And yeah, my post it relates directly to the Morgan Wallen debacle.
February 8, 2022 @ 3:30 pm
The New York Times has mentioned the Morgan Wallen incident three times, all in informational articles about the music business and charts and not highlighted in any meaningful way.
I’ll let you in on a secret. 99% of people for whom the NYT is their #1 news source have probably heard of J.P. Morgan and Morgan Freeman, but wouldn’t know Morgan Wallen if he got right in front of them, strummed his guitar and screamed the n-word in their face.
The Morgan Wallen Conundrum – The New York Times http://www.nytimes dot com › Arts › Music
Jan 28, 2022 — The country star Morgan Wallen, who retreated from the spotlight in 2021 after his rebuke by the music business for using a racial slur,
Morgan Wallen Holds Onto No. 1 Again Following Use of …www.nytimes dot com › Arts › Music
Mar 1, 2021 — The country star, who was condemned by the industry for his language, has only seen his album sales increase since the scandal.
Morgan Wallen Rebuked by Music Business After Using …www.nytimes dot com › Arts › Music
Mar 1, 2021 — Morgan Wallen, one of country music’s biggest new stars, was swiftly rebuked on Wednesday by major radio stations, streaming services, …
February 8, 2022 @ 3:05 pm
Not exactly tied to this article but since so many comments mentioned the low streaming pay thought I would point out that Billboard estimates Neil Young is giving up $754,000 per year in lost royalties by leaving Spotify. Not saying he can’t make some of that up if he added other platforms. Joni Mitchell $272,000. Looks like established artists do way better than others even thought the payout % is the same. https://jonimitchell.com/library/view.cfm?id=5102
February 8, 2022 @ 3:54 pm
Both Neil Young and Joni Mitchell have seen sales and streaming increases since leaving Spotify. I think they will be okay.
February 12, 2022 @ 5:54 pm
How did Wallen “use” the word? Whom did he address and who was “slurred?”
David: The Duke of Everything
February 8, 2022 @ 3:11 pm
Well if isbell really wanted to do some good he would have given the money to a charity that actually needs it and helps everyone not just one part of society but he was trying to make a point I guess.
February 8, 2022 @ 3:38 pm
well if wallen really wanted to do some good he would have given money to a charity “that actually needs it” too.
David: The Duke of Everything
February 8, 2022 @ 4:15 pm
Yea maybe but then they wouldn’t have believed he was helping black people. To pay his pentance, he had to give to those charities, isbell didn’t come under medias fire so he could do with it whatever he wanted
February 8, 2022 @ 4:29 pm
is wallen out of money? doesn’t he want to help people?!?!
David: The Duke of Everything
February 8, 2022 @ 6:27 pm
Like I said, if wallen had given it to the red cross, salvation army, or some other charity for everyone, he wouldnt have got the credit for doing anything to make up for his bad word usage. Though I believe he probably already does stuff like that.
Danny van Eijk
February 9, 2022 @ 7:07 am
The Salvation Army is absolutely not “for everyone”.
February 8, 2022 @ 3:13 pm
Jason Isbell is virtue signaling.
Or as some call it, “Tuesday.”
Danny van Eijk
February 9, 2022 @ 7:09 am
Vitue signaling is the egoist’s definition of doing good.
February 8, 2022 @ 3:22 pm
I raise this out of sincere curiosity, but is it not possible that there is some contextual (if nuanced) relevance to the fact that Wallen’s donation came from his label? I.e., sure it’s possible that its just the most expedient or tax-friendly way to make it happen, but is it not possible that the label saw it in their best business interest to pay up on behalf on rehabbing the image of a artist they’re heavily invested in? I don’t know anything of consequence about the industry, so I have no idea, and for those that received the money, resources are resources, but the question comes to mind.
February 8, 2022 @ 4:00 pm
Morgan Wallen doesn’t get paid by Spotify/Apple Music/Amazon, etc. He gets paid by his record label. The record label is the facilitator. Could the label have said, “Okay, Wallen has made these pledges, and we’re going to make sure they happen by giving the money directly to the charities as opposed to entrusting him to follow through”? Sure. But I’m not sure that’s grounds to call into question the validity of the donations in their entirety. There’s absolutely nothing “convoluted” about it, and they most certainly should not be counted at all because of it. According to Buzzfeed, Morgan Wallen has done quote, “Nothing.” Meaning he never donated a red penny. When I confronted the author about it, he said that since Morgan Wallen’s label made the donations, the statement was true, and stood by his assertion that Morgan Wallen had taken absolutely no corrective action after the incident whatsoever and made no donations.
February 8, 2022 @ 4:34 pm
Is it common for record labels to make charitable donations on behalf of their clients? I’m not attempting to justify Buzzfeed’s reporting, I’m just genuinely curious about the arrangement.
February 8, 2022 @ 9:18 pm
That’s a good question. I don’t have an answer for that, though I’m sure it’s happened in the past. Let’s understand that the context here was Morgan Wallen was pledging the money they believed he’d made specifically due to the controversy boosting his sales. Drawing that money from his label would be the most intuitive and direct way to do that.
I think the real question would be if Rolling Stone hadn’t written an article claiming that only $165,000 of the $500,000 had been donated, would we even be having this discussion? I don’t think anyone would unilaterally claim Morgan Wallen did not fulfill his end of the bargain since his label facilitated some of the donations. That just became the way to twist the narrative to attempt to deny culpability for shoddy and rushed reporting.
I reached out to the NAACP to query about Jason Isbell’s donations in September 2021 when this whole story started, and didn’t hear back. Waited about a week, made two more attempts, and still didn’t hear anything back. Made another attempt when the “Buzzfeed” story came out right before the Holidays, still didn’t hear anything. Then out of the blue, the NAACP finally returned my phone call last Thursday, about 5 1/2 months after I first started trying to get this information. Not trying to toot my own horn, but that is what Rolling Stone should have done. They should have waited until they had the full picture before going to print. And when you have the Rolling Stone editor out there bragging the publication is going to be “faster, more visceral, more immediate” with their reporting, this is what you get. They made a mess that here 5 1/2 months later, we’re still all trying to clean up. And still, the vast majority of the public believes the canard that Morgan Wallen never donated anything, or very little. Because the correction never goes as far as the viral story.
February 8, 2022 @ 5:50 pm
According a recent Billboard article:
“the BMAC members who met with Wallen received an email from him that included 14 other people, unfamiliar to the BMAC, that he had also met with. Wallen thanked them for their counsel and wrote he wanted to make a $15,000 donation in the name of each of the 20 people on the email to organizations of their choosing.”
However they got the money it seems that Wallen involved, not just the label doing it.
February 8, 2022 @ 4:16 pm
Glad to see no one is being a hypocrite. As far as whether or not the organization does any good for society anymore (especially with how woke they’ve gone) is still an open question.
February 8, 2022 @ 4:21 pm
Rolling Stone should focus on finding out where all the money from BLM is.
February 8, 2022 @ 4:36 pm
The more Jason Isbell outs himself as the great white knight, the more I believe he has bodies buried in his yard somewhere. Anyone know if his ancestors did some horrible things involving the Dutch Trade Company?
February 8, 2022 @ 5:42 pm
That is a lot of money for a song I’m assuming was not released as a single! It’s too bad that there is essentially no money in music for most artists but terrible music can just take it in. Maybe this year I will try to write some real turd burgers for fun and profit. Not really related to Isbell who writes pretty good songs so much as Morgan “Doesn’t understand camera technology” Wallen.
February 8, 2022 @ 6:41 pm
Let’s get that Joe Rogan/Jason Isbell/Travis Tritt/Aaron Lewis/COVID cross-over post up ASAP so we can really burn this bitch down!
February 9, 2022 @ 12:33 pm
I like all those people you mentioned, so I’m here for it!
February 8, 2022 @ 6:54 pm
So, Wallen has contributed more than Face (Oops, MR ISBELL for David)? Am I reading this right?
And yes Trigger, I hope it is the last time you write about this.
February 8, 2022 @ 7:07 pm
The bigger tragedy here is Morgan Wallen covering the song. I get that the song has outgrown Isbell and others should choose to sing it if they wish. But I’d hope that those who sing it have gone through some sort of transformation.
Wallen was in his mid-20s partying when he sang it. Nothing wrong with that lifestyle (especially at that age), but the song loses some of its reverence when just anyone sings it.
February 8, 2022 @ 8:38 pm
Jason Isbell is a phony baby!
He was a dirtbag Drunk Skidrow Druggie who woke up 10 years ago and cleaned up his act.
How many people did he hurt and damage in those years?
But all is good and he’s forgiven right?
But he can’t lose his hard on for Morgan.
He’s full of himself for some reason but his Woke thought make him suck.
Would rather hear toilet flush 100 times a day than hear his garbage.
February 8, 2022 @ 10:38 pm
Just wanted to say, Trigger, that I thought this was a great article. It didn’t come to the conclusion that I thought it would. In fact, you leave it to the reader to do that – wish you ran the Times or WaPo.
And it sure doesn’t surprise me to see RS acting like pricks.
Anyway, thank you!
February 8, 2022 @ 10:38 pm
Jason Isbell kicks ass. Morgan may still be a punk. Hopefully he has grown up some, but we’ll see. He’s 28, he has a kid – it’s time.
February 8, 2022 @ 10:46 pm
Trigger, I have a suggestion for you, everytime you print an article like this , you say you do not want posts like this to go political. But every time they go political, I see some talking about the money , but as usual it is pro N word and anti N word and why they stick up for the word it is beyond me, but anyway. Let’s facts trigger, if you posted about Morgan doing a Christmas album, or him saving a bus load of kids, it would turn into a N word political debate and you know it would, Morgan no matter what else he does in life, will be bashed for this forever, so for all your long time fans who hate the politics, because you know it is going to happen , no matter how many times you ask people not to , I have a suggestion that would please you and everyone.
I know this is your website and you post what you want, well then how about categories? Like this.
1. Country news
2. Album reviews
3. Tour dates
And so on. That way you could please every one, people who just want country news, can just ignore the posts that turn political, keep all the posts about Morgan and covid and such in the politics section and everyone will be happy.
You notice I did not fall into the Morgan debate this time, I have said my say about it, and I am going to beat an old horse to death, I am moving on.
So again trigger if you are tired of people turning your posts too political, then make categories, I think even long time fans who left would come back. And I think this would make every one happy, again it is just a suggestion.
February 8, 2022 @ 11:35 pm
Thanks for the suggestion.
All of the articles actually are put in categories. News / Reviews / Random Notes(usually think pieces, etc.) / Radio and Media (covering how country music is covered) / History / Causes (rarely used, but sometimes) / Down With Pop Country (over-the-top sarcasm/ parody news/etc.) You can find the tabs at the top of articles, and there is a navigation tool where you can go to the respective categories.
I do not have a “political” category, but maybe that would be something to look into. I’ve also thought about sectioning off politically-divisive subjects onto an entirely different website, but that comes with its own complications.
The thing is, everything these days is political. I don’t like this. It’s not the world I asked for. But it’s the way it is. People act like Saving Country Music has gone political all of a sudden. That’s not the case at all. It’s just everything has gone political and divisive, including country music. My review of the Aaron Lewis album was not a political post. It was an album review. I compelled people to look past the politics to focus on the music. Of course, that didn’t happen. I don’t think this is a “political” post either, though there are some political elements to it.
The thing is, political figures are gunning for country music, and so to avoid political subjects would be to avoid all the most important and relevant stories of our time, like Morgan Wallen, or the #1 album of the week with Aaron Lewis. Don’t think for a second that I don’t recognize how divisive these subjects are to readers, how they cause havoc in the comments, and how I lose some readers by addressing them. But this is my job. I’m a critic and a commentator. Some people act like all they want from this site is album reviews they don’t want to read. They have no desire to interact with these reviews, but they want to know they’re there, supporting independent artists they have no desire to read about. I post tons of that stuff too. But someone has to hold other media outlets to account when they lie. Someone needs to set the record straight. Someone needs to say the unpopular things that are nonetheless true, and take the heat. I guess that guy is me. I don’t like doing it, despite what some might think. But I won’t shy away from that responsibility either. It’s my job.
February 10, 2022 @ 10:58 am
If your main takeaway is that it’s only a “pro” or “anti” N-word debate, you lack the ability to engage in and understand nuance.
King Honky Of Crackershire (I ❤️ accountability.)
February 8, 2022 @ 11:51 pm
When will the Pasty-Whites catch up to black people, by realizing it’s just a word, and that they should get over it and move on with their lives?
February 9, 2022 @ 7:11 am
i would love to see some shaky phone footage of you trying to convince some black people that it’s just a word and that they should get over it and move on with their lives.
King Honky Of Crackershire (I ❤️ accountability.)
February 9, 2022 @ 10:14 am
As I very clearly stated, Pasty-White, I don’t need to convince black people of anything; most of them are long over it. I’m telling YOU to join them. Catch up to the 21st century.
February 9, 2022 @ 10:45 am
you are such an embarrassment. jason isbell wasn’t the only one offended by someone using the n-word. white people weren’t the only one that thought it was wrong. all you have to do is look around and listen, but you won’t. even when you are presented with evidence to the opposite of what you believe you bury your head – in this instance, black people saying the word is offensive. read an op-ed written by a black person, they’re pretty much everywhere. go up to a black person and ask them what they think or heck just say it in front of them if you think people are over it (hint: it isn’t going to go well for you). you are a failure of a person. truly shameful.
King Honky Of Crackershire
February 9, 2022 @ 6:25 pm
What happened here? You posted my reply, and then deleted it.
February 9, 2022 @ 6:43 pm
Because your comment was being misconstrued, and I didn’t want to run the risk of it being misconstrued by others. It was blatantly off topic anyways. I also deleted numerous comments from The Gentile.
February 9, 2022 @ 5:45 am
NAACP, KKK, BLM are all racist hate groups and should be treated as such. Anyone giving money to any one of them is morally bankrupt.
February 9, 2022 @ 7:44 am
The story is a valid follow-up, and fair game. But watching the knuckle-dragging in the comments section (“THEY can say it, why can’t we?” “Virtue signaling” “The NAACP is racist” “Woke”) while defending a musician that this site would have DRAGGED just a few years ago is a sad state of affairs. You don’t have to be woke to see that it’s turned into a whole lot of good Ole boys who are here for the stars and bars, mad that they cant say the N word anymore, and care less actual country music.
February 9, 2022 @ 10:10 am
There’s a strange idea out there that Saving Country Music is “defending Morgan Wallen,” which is not what is happening here at all. This site had “dragged” Morgan Wallen incessantly. I reported on his idiotic arrest and Kid Rock’s bar. I reported on his stupid Covid night out before Saturday Night Live. If you want to read my review of his last album, here’s a link:
Here’s the first paragraph, and note, this was written BEFORE the N-word incident:
“If Morgan Wallen was a young male suitor in pursuit of your sister or daughter, he would be one of those beaus where it is undeniable they are trouble, with not just red flags flying right out in the open, but a rap sheet to back up these presuppositions—yet at the same time they possess an irresistible charisma that almost immediately drops guards, and they know how to say and do the right things at the right times to wiggle out of trouble, and to get one everyone’s good side, despite a pattern of bad behavior.
But the truth of the matter is, your nose doesn’t lie.””
Downright prophetic, if you ask me.
The problem here is the media thinks that if they just lie enough about Morgan Wallen, he will go away. This is the folly of “cancel culture” in a nutshell—the idea that anyone has the capability to destroy someone’s career. Instead, it’s this same media posting false stories that is fueling Morgan Wallen’s continued popularity. It’s such a morally corrupt moment that someone who admittedly does not like Morgan Wallen the person, or his music, is constantly having to defend him because the lies are so out in the open, someone needs to speak the truth, especially since those lies are being used to attack the entirety of country music, top to bottom, as well.
I know your comment was mostly directed at other commenters, but this goes for them as well. These people aren’t Morgan Wallen fans, at least not most of them. But even with that bias, they can see right through the lies the media is perpetrating, and they come to his defense. And this is why the media is just as culpable for Morgan Wallen’s success as anyone else. They have made Morgan Wallen defenders out of people who hate his music. They have made him a folk hero. As strange as it may seem, defending Morgan Wallen is now the moral high ground. That is how far the media has sunk.
February 9, 2022 @ 7:53 am
Good Isbell has done what he should. Rolling Stone has sadly become less about reporting fact and more about their ideals. They do not let the truth get in the way of a story that will attract clicks. It is a publication that has fallen far. Morgan Wallens did not racially abuse anyone as I understand it. He was not racist towards anyone. He used a word no decent person likes when drunk. No excuse. Good the money has gone to charity. Sad it is to charity based on race. It should have simply gone to charity that benefits everyone whatever their colour or race.
February 9, 2022 @ 8:11 am
Trigger, the conclusions you reach are “interesting.”
You say the media acted in bad faith, then you say they corrected the mistake. Do you think RS really needs to pander for clicks?… No.
“But it may disincentivize future individuals from making such pledges if the the media” How about it penalizes the ignorant for acting like a country boy stereotype.”
Money paid by MW’s production company isn’t the same as it coming out of MW’s pocket. You know that, or at least you should know that.
February 9, 2022 @ 9:51 am
Virtually everything you said in this comment is false.
“You say the media acted in bad faith, then you say they corrected the mistake.”
I never said anything like that. Rolling Stone, Buzzfeed, and the dozen other outlets that rebroadcast the false information have yet to correct it. The only outlets who have correctly reported on this issue is Saving Country Music and USA Today.
“Do you think RS really needs to pander for clicks?… No.”
Of course that’s why they’re doing it. That’s why anyone does anything on the internet. They’re a for-profit entity. They thought it would be a sexy, viral story to say Wallen didn’t pay his debts, which it was. Unfortunately, it was false.
“But it may disincentivize future individuals from making such pledges if the the media” How about it penalizes the ignorant for acting like a country boy stereotype.”
You completely missed the point.
“Money paid by MW’s production company isn’t the same as it coming out of MW’s pocket.”
First, it’s not Morgan Wallen’s production company, it’s his record label. And yes, that money comes very directly out of Morgan Wallen’s pocket. If “Rolling Stone” or anyone else wanted to clarify or include the information that the money was donated through the label, sure, that’s fine context. Attempting to say that since the label donated it and not Wallen, so Wallen basically didn’t shoulder any financial responsibility is a canard that is easily refutable by anyone aside from someone so blinded with hatred for Morgan Wallen, they can’t see the truth, which should recuse them from reporting on this matter. This isn’t Twitter. If you’re a reporter, you’re beholden to the facts, not your personal biases.
$500,000 that would have ended up in Morgan Wallen’s pocket ended up in the pocket of Black charities. End of story.
February 9, 2022 @ 5:08 pm
Embattled Morgan Wade
Woke Jason Isbell.
Just to be fair and current.
February 9, 2022 @ 7:43 pm
Rolling stone is owned by Penski media corporation follow the money corporate news is awful imo
February 10, 2022 @ 5:52 am
Morgan Wallen is going to be the one who changes country music for the better. From what I’ve read, the racism that is within the country music arena has been there long before Morgan Wallen was around. He’s young and he made a mistake, we all do . We’re all broken, that’s how the light gets in. His brokenness shed light on an unfair reality and because of his mistake good will come out of it. It already has. GOD uses people in mysterious ways and in my opinion GOD used Morgan Wallen to make a wrong right. Through it all Morgan has stood upright acknowledging his wrong, he has not once lashed back at anyone but himself. Yes, Morgan Wallen will be the one to change country music for the good.
February 10, 2022 @ 6:42 am
The fastest way to have the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People on your butt is to refer to any black individual as a “colored person.” In the meantime I’m just gonna be listening to music and away from the internet
February 10, 2022 @ 7:15 am
yeah, that’s because they (like most of society) finds the term to be offensive in 2022.
February 10, 2022 @ 10:52 am
Yet it’s still in their name…..I’m just pointing out the hypocrisy.
February 10, 2022 @ 6:58 am
Jason isbell needs to stop being a little whiny b****!!! Stop pushing your left is cupcake views on all of country music you f****** idiot!!! Nobody likes your dumbass anyways!!! You’re just jealous of Morgan wallen and you’re a f****** hater just like every typical liberal!!! get the f*** out of here and go play some Grand theft Auto you little cupcake b****!!!
February 10, 2022 @ 7:21 am
another well-reasoned, unemotional, self-censoring, very much ‘hinged’ response from the very tolerant and rational right.
February 12, 2022 @ 8:01 pm
Nothing to say specifically about Isbell (other than my guess: he’s acting out of some sense of chivalry, misguided or otherwise), but I used to work for a non-profit dealing in women’s reproductive whatever (“whatever”, it used to be a population control org, then it was “family planning”, so I’ve been told, I was just a numbers guy)…
Anyways, what I learned is that the young, intelligent, multicultural women I worked with loathed “white feminism” and if they aren’t yet, trust me in a year or so they will be mocking just about any white person who calls themselves “woke”.
If that provides any insight, great. I could write a book (as basically a guy who lost faith in, well, “liberalism” while simultaneously being “saved” by country music.
February 13, 2022 @ 12:14 pm
Get woke, go broke. They’re getting good at it