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'SNL' Nixes Morgan Wallen Appearance After Singer Violates COVID-19 Safety Protocols

One of country music's hottest stars says his invitation to appear this weekend on Saturday Night Live has been revoked.

Morgan Wallen, whose hits include "Whiskey Glasses" and "7 Summers," posted an emotional video to his Instagram page saying show executives nixed his appearance for violating coronavirus safety protocols.

"I got a call from the show letting me know I will no longer be able to play," Wallen said in the video, which he says was recorded in his New York City hotel room. "I respect the show's decision, because I know that I put them in jeopardy and I take ownership for this."

He apologized to the show, his fans and his team "for bringing me these opportunities, and I let them down."

His cancellation comes days after videos posted to TikTok surfaced showing Wallen, without a facial covering, at a crowded bar.

The videos were taken Saturday in Tuscaloosa, Ala., where Wallen "got up close and personal with fans ... partying with revelers after the [University of Alabama] Crimson Tide trounced Texas A&M," according to Al.com.

Wallen, who broke on to the music scene after competing on the NBC talent show competition The Voicein 2014, received backlash from people accusing him of having a lax attitude toward the virus.

"I wish I could have made country music and my fans proud this Saturday," Wallen said.

Wallen said the sketch comedy's longtime showrunner spoke to him directly. "Lorne Michael actually gave me a lot of encouragement by letting me know that we'll find another time to make this up. So that means a lot to me," Wallen said.

Comedian Bill Burr is set to host this weekend's show.

And while the SNL official Twitter page has teased a parody of Wednesday's debate between Vice President Pence and Sen. Kamala Harris, the show has not announced a musical guest to replace Wallen.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Brakkton Booker is a National Desk reporter based in Washington, DC.