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Morgan Wallen said in a recent interview that he is good friends with football superstar Peyton Manning and said that he talked the football legend into hosting next month’s CMA Awards (11/9) in Nashville with Luke Bryan.

Morgan said of his friendship with Manning, “We talk a good amount. We talk every week or every other week. I talked to Peyton about co-hosting the CMAs with Luke Bryan. They’re both pretty funny. I’m sure they’ll throw a couple of jabs at me. I’m ready. He’s come to a few of my shows. He came to the one in Denver and was at Seven Peaks too.”

Wallen, a native of East Tennessee, attended the recent Alabama-Tennessee football game, where Tennessee won after 15 years of losing to Alabama. He noted, “I was in Neyland Stadium watching the Vols beat the Tide. It was something I’ll never forget. I was in a suite with Kenny Chesney, Kelsea Ballerini, and Peyton Manning. It was cool. It was a good day for me. I might wear orange all week.”

In June, Morgan opened a stadium show for Eric Church, his musical hero. He offered, “I got to play an entire set, I think I played 90 minutes, and I told this story on stage. My first concert was Eric Church. I felt a genuine connection to what he was doing. That inspired me and made me work harder to become who I am. Eight years later, to be up there playing a show with him, it makes you happy. Anything is possible.”

Wallen is now off the road for a bit and back in the recording studio working on new music, and he recently brought a guest with him to our studio: His 2-year-old son Indie: He said, “He probably tore up a bunch of stuff. He loves to run. He runs everywhere he goes. He ain’t talking good yet, but he’s started with the letters. He almost said ‘dad’ today. It makes me feel better than anything else.”

He added, “Knowing I’m gonna be an important part of his life; I think it makes me think about things differently. I try to enjoy these days as much as I can.”

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