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Darius Rucker says country music ‘still’ carries a ‘stigma of rebel flags and racism’



(The Hill) — Country star Darius Rucker said in a recent interview that country music still carries a “stigma” of racism today.

Rucker wrote in a 2021 editorial for “The Tennessean” that country music has a “stigma of rebel flags and racism.”

In the latest installment of CNN’s “Who’s Talking to Chris Wallace,” host Chris Wallace asked Rucker whether this stigma still exists in the genre today.

“It’s still around, you know. You still see it some places and I don’t think it’s – I don’t think it’s ever gonna go away,” the “Beers and Sunshine” singer said.

When pressed further, Rucker, once of Hootie & The Blowfish, said the stigma was “still” a part of the country, adding that he is “pretty sure it’s still there.”

Musician Darius Rucker and host Reba McEntire speak onstage during the 45th Annual Academy of Country Music Awards at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on April 18, 2010 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Ethan Miller/ACMA2010/Getty Images for ACMA)

He also touched on Beyonce’s newest, and first country, album, “Cowboy Carter.” Beyonce became the first Black woman earlier this year to hit number one on the Billboard Country Albums Chart.

“I can’t express enough how big what she did was because she bought so many eyes to the genre. You know, one of the things I love about what Beyonce did is that, when I started making country music and having hits, I have African American women and men come up to me and go ‘I love country music. I just could never say until now you’re playing and I can say it,’” Rucker said.

“And she brought I think even more eyes to the to the genre and more people looking at it. And more Black people going ‘Alright man, I like country music.’ I always say I want country music to look more like America and I think she did a lot to make it go that way,” he added.

Rucker is currently on tour, and is set to perform at Fenway Park in Boston later this week.

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