NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Country artists have long been hesitant to address racial issues, but the rallies over racial injustice this year have become too important for the genre to ignore.
Black artists say the industry still needs to do the hard work of addressing the systematic racial barriers that have been entrenched in country music for decades.
Country rapper Breland says there's an audience of country music listeners who believe Black Lives Matter and are ignored by the industry. Singer Rissi Palmer says she dealt with racist language from genre fans after releasing her debut country album in 2007.
The genre has historically been marketed to white audiences and reinforced white male artist stereotypes.