Patrick Grieve
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Did Chevy Replace Kid Rock with Luke Bryan to Quell Confederate Flag Controversy?

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New Chevrolet ambassador Luke Bryan

Chevrolet’s new official brand ambassador, Luke Bryan, performs for fans

Last week, Chevrolet announced a new three-year partnership with country singer Luke Bryan, the reigning CMA Entertainer of the Year. The bowtie brand also committed to sponsoring Bryan’s farm concert tour this fall.

Meanwhile, though, the American automaker chose not to renew its contract with Kid Rock, which ended at the close of 2015.

So did GM decide that it only needed one musical artist who appealed to the Carhartt-and-camo demographic, and decide that Bryan was a better fit than Kid Rock? Or was the replacement made to quell the controversy surrounding Kid Rock and his embrace of the confederate flag?

Last year, civil rights activists threatened to protest GM for its sponsorship of Kid Rock’s “Cheap Date” summer concert tour, due to the artist’s past use of the confederate flag. Though Kid Rock had not used the stars and bars in his live show for several years, and used only the American flag onstage during his 2015 tour, he had continued to post Confederate flag imagery on social media and remained unapologetic for his usage of what many consider a symbol of hate.

Kid Rock poses with a Confederate flag flask given to him by fans

Kid Rock caused controversy when he posed with a Confederate flag flask given to him by fans, and left the image on his website after the racially-motivated shooting of a historically black church in South Carolina sparked debate over the flag’s meaning

Chevy executives ended up meeting with representatives from the National Action Network and avoiding a boycott, but Kid Rock never showed any contrition for his past Confederate flag usage, and the whole kerfuffle may have strained the American automaker’s relationship with the Michigan-born rocker.

Officially, though, Chevy maintains that it and Kid Rock are staying friends.

“Chevrolet has enjoyed its relationship with Kid Rock, both sponsoring his 2015 summer concert tour as well as collaborating with him on the creation of his customized 2016 Silverado 3500HD that we displayed at the SEMA show in Las Vegas,” Chevy said in a statement. “While our business arrangement concluded at the end of 2015, our relationship remains very positive.”

For his part, newly appointed brand ambassador Luke Bryan said in a statement that, “Chevy has been a part of our family and a part of our work life on the farm for as long as I can remember. If you were a Bryan, you drove a Chevy. I am so excited about this partnership and I’m honored to be representing such a wonderful brand.”

Bryan proved his devotion to Chevy even before the partnership became official: in the music video for his hit song “That’s My Kind of Night,” the “big black, jacked-up truck” that Bryan sings about is portrayed by his own Silverado pickup. Bryan has also been known to feature the vehicle on stage during his concerts.

It shouldn’t be too surprising that Chevy dumped an artist who used Confederate flags on stage in favor of one who used Silverados instead.

News Source: The Detroit News

Patrick Grieve was born in Southwestern Ohio and has lived there all of his life, with the exception of a few years spent getting a Creative Writing degree in Southeastern Ohio. He loves to take road trips, sometimes to places as distant as Northeastern or even Northwestern Ohio. Patrick also enjoys old movies, shopping at thrift stores, going to ballgames, writing about those things, and watching Law & Order reruns. He just watches the original series, though, none of the spin-offs. And also only the ones they made before Jerry Orbach died. Season five was really the peak, in his opinion. See more articles by Patrick.