The 25-year-old Tennessee native is biracial — his father is mixed with Black and Cherokee Indian and his mother is Caucasian.
Kane discussed his upbringing with PEOPLE and the racism he was exposed to as a mixed race singer in the country music world.
“I’m biracial,” Kane said in an interview with PEOPLE. “I didn’t know that until I was 7 or 8 years old. I thought I was full white, which honestly, I can’t even really say because I didn’t see colors.”
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?????????? Thank you fans , country radio, and my whole team that was apart of this ? pic.twitter.com/eM3x0eqpfM
— Kane Brown (@kanebrown) November 19, 2018
Kane discovered he was biracial after someone called him a n—er.
“I found out that I was biracial and I still wasn’t thinking anything of it, but then I started getting called the N-word,” he said. “I didn’t even know what it meant. I learned what it meant, and that’s when it started affecting me. I got in fights over it when I was little.”
As a rising star, Kane said he struggled to overcome racism in country music.
“When I first got into country, I started getting some of those comments like, ‘He’s an N-word.’ Stuff like that,” Brown said. “I used to screenshot it and put it on Twitter, like, ‘There’s still racism in the world.’ But I didn’t get into country music just to prove a point. I try to stay away from all negativity.”
“Now you can call me whatever you want,” he added. “It just brushes off of me.”
Kane’s sophomore album, “Experiment,” debuted at no. 1 on the Billboard 200 chart, ‘becoming just the third country album to hit the top spot on the all-genre 200 chart in 2018, following Carrie Underwood’s “Cry Pretty” and Jason Aldean’s “Rearview Town” ‘ — per billboard.com.
Read the full People story here.