After his latest song with Billy Strings, The Great Divide, came out, Luke Combs faced backlash as conversations over his past use of the confederate flag in his 2015 music video and in old photos resurfaced. The irony was not lost on anyone, leading to confusion among many fans.
In response, Luke Combs took to Country Radio Seminar to apologize and express his regret over his past use of the confederate flag. He was joined by Maren Morris, who was also involved in a recent racial slur controversy.
Ann Powers of NPR hosted the conversation as the two country singers addressed the issue of accountability in the country music genre.
“There is no excuse for those images,” Combs avowed. “As a younger man, that was an image I associated to mean something else,” he said. But he also stressed that he was not trying to justify his past actions. He said that the photos being there is “not okay.”
“And as I have grown in my time as an artist and as the world has changed drastically in the last five to seven years, I am now aware of how painful that image can be to someone else,” the country star continued. “I would never want to be associated with something that brings so much hurt to someone else.”
Combs asserted that hate is not part of his core values, so he apologized for being associated with the flag and its controversial meaning. He also said he’s learning and trying to get better.
The country music singer is now hoping to use his platform to encourage a more inclusive environment in country music. To reinforce this, he pointed to himself as an example of someone who can change.
“I’m a living, mouth-breathing example that people can change,” Combs stated.