Luke Combs opened up about the importance of diversity in country music during The Big Interview With Dan Rather.
“It’s hard to ignore those things when you hear them, I think any artist will tell you that they see those things and are aware of those things. I think country music can stand to be more diverse. I think that would only be a positive thing,” Combs told Rather, in response to his question about his thoughts on the genre’s criticized reputation for being considered a “white man’s music.”
Combs then acknowledging that the “majority of country music is derived from African-American music” before sharing that it is
The hitmaker then added that it is an “interesting time in our country, people are very divided right now,” continuing to say that the world is “so divisive” that it brings him “inner turmoil.”
“It’s just an upsetting time to be in America,” Combs explained before sharing how upsetting it is to him to know that his black country artist peers do not feel the same acceptance that he does.
“I think the climate of country music has helped me in so many ways and it’s upsetting that there are people that I consider my peers who happen to be Black Americans, who don’t feel like country music provides them as much of that safe space or as much of a welcoming place as it does to me, and that’s a problem,” Combs said. “If they feel like they’re not welcomed into this community then absolutely that’s something that needs to be addressed.”
Combs’ interview with Rather first aired on January 13 on AXS TV at 8 p.m. EST.
Watch his full interview with Dan Rather below.
The singer recently released a new song entitled “The Great Divide” with Billy Strings. In the song, the country superstar and bluegrass hitmaker brought a timely message of unity while addressing the cultural divide just in time for Black History Month.
“We’re all so far, so far apart now / It’s as deep as it is wide / We’re about to fall apart now if we can’t reach the other side / We gotta find a way across the great divide,” Combs and Strings sing together during the chorus.
“The Great Divide” marks the first new music from Combs since the release of his deluxe album, What You See Ain’t Always What You Get.