A self-described “people-pleaser” who doesn’t like to upset his fans, Luke Combs found himself in uncertain territory in 2021 when he released “The Great Divide” -- a duet with bluegrass artist Billy Strings -- and faced some backlash over the song.
Americana artist Margo Price, for example, pointed out that though Luke said he didn’t want to be political, a photo with him showed a Confederate flag decal on his guitar. Luke subsequently apologized for his past use of the flag, saying that he didn’t understand its harmful implications as a young person growing up in North Carolina.
“The Great Divide” speaks to the cavernous understanding gap between Americans on opposite sides of the political spectrum, but Luke says that the backlash to the song’s release underscores its point.
“Everything is so contentious and heated, and that’s always been super frustrating to me,” he said in an interview with The Independent. “I think what makes our country great is people’s ability to have their own opinions and have the ability to disagree.”
Without a bridge of understanding, though, he says it’s near-impossible for people to find common ground.
“Right now, everyone is just so hot about everything,” he adds. “And that adds to the tension that was going on.”