Kenny Wayne Shepherd
Shepherd (Graeme J. Baty/Shutterstock)

The Blues Foundation Rescinds Kenny Wayne Shepherd’s 2021 Nomination Over His Use Of The Confederate Flag

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(CelebrityAccess) — On Thursday, the Blues Foundation announced they have rescinded Kenny Wayne Shepherd’s 2021 Blues Music Awards nomination for Best Blues/Rock Artist over his continued use of image of the confederate flag on his instruments, vehicles and elsewhere.

The Blues Foundation has also asked Ken Shepherd, father of Kenny Wayne Shepherd, to step down as a member of its Board of Directors.

“The Blues Foundation unequivocally condemns all forms and expressions of racism, including all symbols associated with white supremacy and the degradation of people of color. We will hold ourselves as well as all blues musicians, fans, organizations, and members of the music industry accountable for racist actions and encourage concrete commitments to acknowledge and redress the resulting pain,” the Blues Foundation said in a statement on Tuesday.

Shepherd, one of the most commercially successful blues artists of the modern era, has used the confederate flag symbol for years, including on the ‘Xtreme Lee,’ a Dodge charger replica of the “General Lee” which was featured in the 80s television series “Dukes of Hazzard.”

“I grew up watching “The Dukes of Hazzard,” primarily because of the car featured on the show, the General Lee. It was as much a hero as the main characters,” Shepherd told the Wall Street Journal in 2015.

“Years ago, I was at Kid Rock’s house. He had a General Lee replica in his garage. I realized: You can own one of these! I located an original car from the filming of the TV show. But I thought: If I get in an accident, I’d be ruining television history. I decided to build my own instead.”

During the interview with the WSJ, Shepherd acknowledged that the Confederate flag could be contentious but disavowed its connection to racism.

“The confederate flag can be controversial, but not in this case. I get thumbs up from everybody, regardless of race. The African-American community created the music that I play; racism certainly isn’t part of my DNA,” he said.

However, it became an issue for Shepherd this year following a social media post from Muddy Waters’ daughter, Mercy Morganfield that called the Blues Foundation out in Shepherd’s nomination.


 

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A post shared by Mercy Morganfield (@mercymorganfield)

After the announcement that his nomination had been withdrawn, Shepherd responded with a statement posted to his own social media, writing:

I have just learned that the Executive Committee of the Blues Foundation Board of Directors has made the decision to rescind my nomination for the 2021 Blues Rock Artist of the Year award.
We have been told this decision has been made because In recent days, concerns have been raised regarding one of the cars in my muscle car collection. The car was built 17 years ago as a replica and homage to the iconic car in the television series, The Dukes of Hazzard. That CBS show was one of the highest rated and most popular programs of its era and like millions of others, I watched it every week. In the show, one of the central ‘characters’ was a muscle car which displayed a confederate flag on its roof. Years ago I put that car in permanent storage and some time ago, I made the decision to permanently cover the flag on my car because it was completely against my values and offensive to the African American community which created the music I love so much and I apologize to anyone that I have unintentionally hurt because of it.
I want to make something very clear and unequivocal; I condemn and stand in complete opposition to all forms of racism and oppression and always have.

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