Morgan Wallen paid tribute to the 1998 Atlanta Braves team during his performance at the 2023 Billboard Music Awards.
The country singer, 30, sang “‘98 Braves” from the team’s current stadium, Truist Park in Atlanta, during the Sunday, November 19, awards show. Members of the 1998 team were in attendance for the performance since the song is an ode to their record of winning 106 regular-season games in 1998 despite not securing the World Series that year. The track was featured on Wallen’s 2023 album, One Thing at a Time, and peaked at No. 27 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart earlier this year.
Wallen is nominated for 16 awards at the 2023 BBMAs, including Top Artist, Top Male Artist, Top Country Artist, Top Country Male Artist, Top Country Album and Top Country Song. He is tied with SZA for the second-most nods. Taylor Swift leads the pack with nominations in 20 categories.
Wallen’s performance from Truist Park is part of a new model for the BBMAs. Instead of a traditional network broadcast, the awards show is digital this year and features performances and winner celebrations from around the globe, such as on artists’ tour stops. Wallen is in the midst of his One Night at a Time tour, which will run through August 2024, and he had shows in Atlanta on Friday, November 10, and Saturday, November 11.
Wallen was notably banned from the 2021 BBMAs after he used the N-word in a video that surfaced that February. However, he still won Top Country Male Artist, Top Country Artist and Top Country Album at the ceremony that year. He returned to the awards show in 2022, performing and receiving Top Country Male Artist.
More recently, Wallen was forced to cancel six weeks of concerts due to a vocal injury. “I got some bad news from [my] doctors,” he said in a May Instagram post. “After 10 days of vocal rest, I performed three shows last weekend in Florida and by the third one I felt terrible. So I went in and got scoped yesterday, and they told me that I reinjured my vocal cords and that I have vocal fold trauma. Their advice is that I go on vocal rest for six weeks, so that’s what I’m gonna do.”
The following month, Wallen announced that he had been given the go ahead to resume performing. “The doc cleared me to talk and sing,” he wrote via Instagram in June. “We back.”