Country music star Morgan Wallen has apologised and asked fans not to defend him after being caught using a racist slur on video.
The 27-year-old retained top spot on the US album charts despite showbiz website TMZ sharing footage of him drunkenly using offensive language last week.
Wallen faced a backlash from the country music industry and radio stations and streaming services removed his songs from their playlists.
The award-winning singer has now shared a video on social media, revealing he had been on a 72-hour “bender” before he was caught on camera.
Wallen said he has been sober since the incident and he accepted responsibility for any consequences.
He said: “The video you saw was me on hour 72 of 72 of a bender and that’s not something I’m proud of either. Obviously, the natural thing to do is to apologise further and just continue to apologise, but because you got caught. And that’s not what I wanted to do.
“I let so many people down who mean a lot to me and who have given so much to me and it’s just not fair. I let my parents down and they’re the furthest thing from the person in that video. I let my son down and I’m not OK with that.”
Wallen, who topped the US charts with Dangerous: The Double Album, said he had issued personal apologies before sharing a public one and had accepted invitations from black-led organisations “to engage in some real and honest conversations”.
He said: “They had every right to step on my neck while I was down, to not show me any grace but they did the exact opposite. They offered me grace and they also paired that with an offer to learn and to grow.”
Wallen said he had learned “my words matter, a word can truly hurt a person and at my core that’s not what I’m OK with”.
He added: “Our actions matter, our words matter and I just want to encourage anyone watching to please learn from my mistake. There’s no reason to downplay what I did, it matters and please know I’m carefully choosing my next steps.”
Wallen said since the video was taken he had been sober for nine days, adding “the man in that video is not the man I’m trying to be”.
He asked his fans not to defend him, saying: “I appreciate those who still see something in me and have defended me. But for today please don’t. I was wrong. It’s on me to take ownership for this and I fully accept any penalties I’m facing.”
Wallen ended the message by quoting a verse from the bible.