In the wake of the outrage surrounding Morgan Wallen after a video of him yelling a racial slur and profanities has surfaced, a number of country singers are now facing the music regarding their own past, insensitive racist actions.
More especially country superstar Luke Combs, who recently apologized for utilizing the confederate flag memorabilia in the 2015 music video for Ryan Upchurch‘s version of his song “Can I Get an Outlaw.” Pictures from that short clip started circulating online, where Combs can be seen performing with a Confederate flag behind him. In addition to that, the “Better Together” singer was holding an acoustic guitar with a sticker of the flag’s image on it.
Talking to Maren Morris and NPR’s Ann Powers for the annual Country Radio Seminar, Combs says “there is no excuse” for using such imagery. And now that he has grown as an artist, he’s now fully enlightened of “how painful that image can be,” adding that he would never want to be the reason for somebody else’s pain.
And knowing that he’s one of the most visible country singers in the genre at the moment, the Grammy nominee said he wants “to use that position for good, and to say that people can change and people do want to change, and I’m one of those people trying.”
However, it seems like Combs’ apology has ignited a dividing banter among country music fans and musicians. While some are praising the North Carolina native for speaking about the age-old issue of racism inside the genre, there are some fans who are unconvinced of the country singer’s sudden moment of reckoning.
Luke Combs’ apology even roused a clap back from his fellow country singer Ryan Upchurch, who went beyond calling him “f––ing sissy.”
Taking to his Instagram Story, Upchurch wrote, “Y’all country singers need to quit being f—ing sissies, I mean dude, one person does something wrong that they shouldn’t have done and now all of y’all are bowing down ‘i’m sorry,’ you didn’t do nothing, what are you sorry for?”
In addition to that, he also uploaded a video on YouTube with the title “my apology” – though there’s nothing apologetic in the video.
“You thought this was an apology video, that’s cute,” Upchurch said before he proceeded to address Combs’ apology in particular. Upchurch believed that Combs did not come out and apologize by himself but did it as per the demand of his record label.
“You think he waited six years of not saying nothing, not preaching nothing about unity,” Upchurch said in the video. “But now he does, and you don’t think somebody told him to?”
There were also reports saying that Combs’ record label was making an effort to have Upchurch’s music video for “Can I Get An Outlaw” removed, which irked him even more.
Luke Combs, Ryan Upchurch