It's no secret that 2020 has been tough on Morgan Wallen. As his career soared over the course of the year, the singer struggled with some personal missteps, including an arrest for drunk and disorderly behavior outside Kid Rock's Nashville bar and getting pulled from his Saturday Night Live debut after a weekend of maskless partying.

In the weeks leading up to the 2020 CMA Awards, Wallen even took a step back from the spotlight, explaining to fans that he intended to take a few weeks away from music in order to "work on me."

But ultimately, Wallen's hard work and talent as a rising act won him the New Artist of the Year trophy during the Wednesday night (Nov. 11) awards show. When he accepted his trophy, Wallen himself seemed stunned that he'd won, and backstage, he told press that the new accolade was just the boost he needs going into a busy new year of music.

"It's a little kick in the year towards the top, I hope!" the singer said with a laugh. "It's been tough. I've had a lot of really good things happen this year, and some things I wouldn't consider good.

"But this is something I'd put at the top of the list," he added, referring to his brand-new trophy.

The singer went on to say that the COVID-19 shutdowns have also altered his outlook, especially when it comes to appreciating every career milestone and performance. "I've always loved playing shows and giving it all I got every night ... but you don't ever look at your show like, 'Damn, it might be the last one.'"

With a period of introspection behind him and fresh off a CMA win, Wallen says he can't wait for what's in store for him in 2020.

"I feel like I might be in a better spot, with everything going on this year," he reflects. "I feel like I'm back at home now with myself, which is nice."

See the Best of the 2020 CMA Awards Red Carpet

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