Vince Gill is speaking out about a racial reckoning in country music, though he admitted he was hesitant to do so. In a conversation with CBS This Morning discussing the fight against racism in the genre, Gill shared his thoughts on the matter, noting that he isn't sure country music is quite what some people assume it to be.
"Your intentions can be good but then just ripped," he said of speaking on racism. "I think most people perceive that country music is extremely conservative and I'm not sure that’s true. Maybe the audience might be predominantly conservative, I don’t know that the artistry is, I don't know that the community is. So there's a rub in there." Addressing Morgan Wallen's recent controversy, Gill called it "sad" and "disappointing." "Because I knew that everybody was going to massacre country music," he said. "White America, when they make the argument, 'I hear it in rap music all the time,' I go, 'Have you not been paying attention to the last 3-400 years how the word has been used by the white community? It’s derogatory and dismissive and hurtful. It doesn’t have a place.'"
WATCH: Country artist Vince Gill (@VGcom) plays a brand new, unreleased song he recently wrote about the ongoing fight against racism in America.February 17, 2021
The Grammy winner added that it would be "nice" for country artists to speak up more on important topics. "No matter what the issue is," he said, referencing Brothers Osborne's TJ Osborne, who recently came out, which Gill called "spectacular." The interview also discussed the dominance of white men in country music, and Gill noted that "women in country music could make the same claim, to some degree, that Black artists could, that they haven't been made to feel welcome."
He added that he doesn't know why it's so difficult for artists of color and female artists to break into the industry. "I wish I knew," he said. "Because I'm someone that adores what they do. And I think we would be better for it." Along with his thoughts, Gill also shared a new song titled "March On, March On" about the fight against racism. "Preach on brothers, sisters stay strong / Hearts are changing / March on, march on," he sang. "400 years of history couldn't be more wrong / A reckoning's coming / March on, march on."