(CelebrityAccess) — On Thursday, the Blues Foundation announced they have rescinded Kenny Wayne Shepherd’s 2021 Blues Music Awards nomination for Best Blues/Rock Artist over his continued use of image of the confederate flag on his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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After the announcement that his nomination had been withdrawn, Shepherd responded with a statement posted to his own social media, writing: