Morgan Wallen is country music’s new chart king – even though he was living up to the title of his new album just a few months ago.
The 27-year-old crooner has made history with his sophomore album, “Dangerous: The Double Album,” which is atop the Billboard 200 for the second consecutive week.
Despite being fired (and then rehired) as a musical guest for “Saturday Night Live” after ignoring pandemic protocol, Wallen’s new set debuted with 265,000 album-equivalent units last week, bolstered by 184,000 streaming-equivalent album units, or just over 240 million streams.
That was more than double the previous record set by Luke Combs’ “What You See Is What You Get” in October.
The opus also repeated the leading sales tally with 159,000 units and an additional 133,000 SEA units – or 177.11 million streams.
The Sneedville, Tennessee, native is the first country artist to top the Billboard 200 for two weeks in a row since Chris Stapleton’s “Traveller” and Luke Bryan’s “Kill The Lights” in 2015.
“Dangerous,” which was released via Big Loud/Republic, also scored the biggest debut for a country album since Carrie Underwood’s 2018 opus “Cry Pretty” came in with 266,000 copies.
But Wallen’s work stands out on its own because it wasn’t packaged alongside any concert or merchandise bundles.
The 2-disc, 30-track was produced by Joey Moi, Jacob Durrett, Charlie Handsome, Matt Dragstrem and Dave Cohen.
Last fall, Wallen was embroiled in a very COVID controversy when his scheduled “Saturday Night Live” appearance was jettisoned for flouting coronavirus guidelines less than a week before the show was set to take place.
After a public apology, he was given a second chance on the Dec. 5 episode of the legendary Lorne Michaels-created sketch comedy series.
Morgan performed the songs “Still Goin’ Down” and his most recent single, “7 Summers,” as the episode’s musical guest. He also appeared in the sketch about his mea culpa.
“Dangerous” is expected to become the first album of 2021 to be eligible for gold certification by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA).