Morgan Wallen brought "More Than My Hometown," his heartfelt ode to ill-fated small-town love, to the 2020 CMA Awards stage on Wednesday night (Nov. 11). The track comes off of Wallen's as-yet-unannounced sophomore effort, following 2018's If I Know Me.

Donning his signature mullet and his iconic flannel, Wallen looked relaxed and rested as he performed amongst his socially distanced band members, who played in front of a fall landscape flashing on the screen behind them. At the end of the performance, Wallen looked like he was holding back a big smile, perhaps signaling a sense of relief that he had found himself back in the spotlight once again.

The troubled and reflective mid-tempo performance felt fitting for recent events in Wallen's life, as the singer recently stepped back from the spotlight for a period of introspection and a break from music. That news came after Wallen was removed from the Saturday Night Live lineup where he was set to make his show debut, due to some maskless partying he did the weekend prior which violated SNL's COVID-19 safety protocols.

That setback was among the recent personal events that let Wallen know he needed to take a break, he explained to fans in a somber video update, adding, "I think I've lost myself a little bit."

Fortunately for fans, the singer didn't stay away for too long. Not only did he appear to perform at Wednesday night's show, but Wallen also walked into the 2020 CMAs nominated in the New Artist of the Year category. It's the singer's second time up for that trophy, and if he wins it this year, it'll be his first CMA Award to date. He's got some tough competition for New Artist of the Year, however: Also nominated are Carly Pearce, Gabby Barrett, Jimmie Allen and Ingrid Andress.

See the Best of the 2020 CMA Awards Red Carpet

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