'Thanks for helping out a good cause': Jason Isbell donating Morgan Wallen royalties to Nashville NAACP

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Matthew Leimkuehler, Nashville Tennessean
·2 min read
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Singer-songwriter Jason Isbell says he's donating royalties from a Morgan Wallen cover of his beloved song "Cover Me Up" to Nashville's NAACP chapter.

Wallen — who faced swift action from the music industry last week after a video surfaced of him shouting a racial slur in Nashville — regularly covered Isbell's intimate ballad during performances before cutting the song for studio release in 2019.

The song appears on Wallen's 2021 record "Dangerous: The Double Album," which surged on sales charts after the singer's label suspended him and radio began pulling his music from rotation.

Quoting an Associated Press article about Wallen's continued chart success despite his ousting from the industry, Isbell said via Twitter: "A portion of this money goes to me, since I wrote ‘Cover Me Up.’ I’ve decided to donate everything I’ve made so far from this album to the Nashville chapter of the NAACP."

More: Morgan Wallen used a racist slur but his popularity is skyrocketing. How did we get here?

He added, "Thanks for helping out a good cause, folks."

Despite sweeping removal from award shows, verified streaming playlists and his talent agency, Wallen remained at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 album sales chart for a fourth consecutive week.

Billboard reported that his latest album sold 25,000 copies during the week ending Feb. 4, an increase of 102%, according to MRC Data. Billboard reported that that the album’s streaming numbers slightly increased by 3%, representing roughly 160 million on-demand streams. Song downloads from the album also grew 67%.

More: Will Morgan Wallen's racist outburst bring real change to Music Row?

Last week, while some leading artists in Nashville remained silent, Isbell and others called for systemic racial overhaul in country music.

"Wallen’s behavior is disgusting and horrifying," Isbell said last week on social media. "I think this is an opportunity for the country music industry to give that spot to somebody who deserves it, and there are lots of [B]lack artists who deserve it.

Contributing: The Associated Press.

This article originally appeared on Nashville Tennessean: Jason Isbell donating Morgan Wallen royalties to Nashville NAACP