Country singer Kane Brown thought he was a white boy when he was a child.
Brown’s mom is white, and his father is a Black and Native American, but due to the latter’s absence, he didn’t know his true heritage.
“I’m biracial; I didn’t know that until I was 7 or 8 years old,” he told People Magazine. “I thought I was full white, which honestly, I can’t even really say because I didn’t see colors.”
After the 25-year-old discovered his truth, he was cool with it, but his schoolmates made his race an issue.
“I found out that I was biracial and I still wasn’t thinking anything of it, but then I started getting called the N-word,” he continued. “I didn’t even know what it meant. I learned what it meant, and that’s when it started affecting me. I got in fights over it when I was little.”
The bullying continued until he hit puberty and the changes scared them off. Brown also made friends who insulated him from the torment.
“Once I got to high school and hit my growth spurt, nobody really messed with me anymore,” he said. “I just kept to myself. I kept my circle small. I had my friends that I knew wouldn’t do anything to hurt me, and I would also stand up for them, and those are still my friends today.”
The “Heaven” singer’s schoolyard conflicts were not the end of his encounters with racism. Some country fans weren’t feeling his presence in the genre.
“When I first got into country, I started getting some of those comments like, ‘He’s an N-word.’ Stuff like that,” Brown revealed. “I used to screenshot it and put it on Twitter, like, ‘There's still racism in the world.’ But I didn’t get into country music just to prove a point. I try to stay away from all negativity.”
Brown is open about being othered in a predominantly white space. Last weekend, he spoke out about not being nominated for any Country Music Association Awards even though he’s extremely popular, reports Telegram. The Georgia native’s sophomore album debuted at the top of the Billboard 200 chart.
“I was upset a little bit just because I felt like we had a very good year,” Brown said. “I felt like me and Luke Combs and Brett Young were the most-talked-about (artists) of the year. I felt like I should have at least been recognized.”
Brown’s disappointment won’t stop him from being a good sport.
“But I don’t have any hurt feelings,” Brown added. “I’ll still be at the show, and I will still be rooting for everybody that got nominated. All those people are still family. I wish good on everybody, and I’m not really hurt at all.”
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