Country music superstar Luke Combs apologizes for promoting the Confederate flag and says “there is no excuse for those images.”
Combs, 30, of Charlotte, North Carolina, was asked about the Confederation images Wednesday during a panel discussion for the National Radio Seminar, moderated by NPR music critic Ann Powers, according to Associated Press.
While fans are probably familiar with his association with the flag, musician Jeremy Ivey first drew attention to Combs’ troubled story in a February 1 tweet.
Any @lukecombs fans out there? Does anyone care that he has multiple photos with Confederate flags on his guitar and in his press photos? Why is this not a topic for discussion? We all knew he couldn’t write a song and Walmart was his fashion designer, but guess what? He’s also a racist, ”Ivey wrote.
Combs, a multi-platinum sales artist and famous Crocs fan, has admitted that he frequently used the racist battle flag during the early days of his career nearly a decade ago. “I’m from the south and I’m proud of that,” he told NPR.
“As I grew up in my time as an artist and the world changed dramatically in the last five to seven years, I am now aware of how painful that image can be to someone else,” added Combs. “I would never want to be associated with something that causes so much harm to another person.”
The “Lovin ‘On You” singer said he hoped his mea culpa would inspire proud Southerners, especially other country music artists, to follow suit.
“I know that I am a very visible member of the country music community right now,” he said. “And I want to use that position forever, and say that people can change and people want to change, and I’m one of those people who tries.”
“I’m trying to learn. I’m trying to improve,” Combs added.
Combs’ apology comes on the heels of fellow country musician Morgan Wallen’s fallout with the media after images were unearthed showing the 27-year-old artist using the “N word” in the past. As a result, Wallen was disqualified from acting or receiving recognition at the upcoming Academy of Country Music Awards.