(CNN) — Morgan Wallen was removed from the Academy of Country Music Awards ballot last year after being caught on video using a racial slur.

This year, he had a big night.

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Wallen was awarded album of the year by the academy for “Dangerous: The Double Album” at the 57th ACM Awards on Monday.

He did not directly reference the controversy in his acceptance speech.

“When I started this album I was a kid.By the time I put it out I was a father and that’s become more important to me than anything else,” he said. “To my son this album and this award will signify that his daddy was a fighter and that he chased his dreams and worked hard to make them a reality.”

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He also thanked those who had shown him “grace along the way.”

After the video surfaced, Wallen was initially criticized by fellow artists, saw his music dropped by several radio stations and his contract suspended by his label. But supporters boosted Wallen’s music sales.

He has since played at the Grand Ole Opry and launched a tour.

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