Kane Brown is all over the headlines, and we love to see it.
Brown — who recently was nominated for four CMT Awards, the most for any artist this year — is just the latest artist who is helping to change the face of country music.
Traditionally viewed as a “white” genre, country music is slowly but surely welcoming Black artists into their fold. From the high-profile Mickey Guyton to the rising star Allison Russell, and to proven superstars like Jimmie Allen, Black country artists are redefining what it means to be “all-American.”
And Kane Brown is no different.
Originally getting his start on YouTube, Brown has since collaborated with the likes of John Legend, Marshmello, and Camila Cabello. This has given his brand of country music a unique pop feel while also appealing to the staunchly-devoted “purists” of the genre.
And his star is just getting brighter from here — especially if he takes home all his CMT wins.
Whether you’re familiar with his name or his face — or even a fan of country music in the first place! — we’ve come up with this list of five things to know about Kane Brown. You’ll definitely be seeing more of his face in the near future!
He faced a lot of racism when he was younger
Kane Brown was born to a white mother and a Black father in Georgia — and, as he told People back in 2018, he faced a lot of racism as a result.
“I’m biracial; I didn’t know that until I was 7 or 8 years old,” he said to the outlet. “I thought I was full white, which honestly, I can’t even really say because I didn’t see colors. 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. 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.”
Kane Brown was inspired by his 'American Idol' schoolmate
Kane Brown and former American Idol contestant Lauren Alaina went to school together, and he was inspired by her success to go into the industry. According to KNCI-FM, the pair released a single called “What Ifs,” and Brown said he felt awkward singing the song with her because it was a love song — and he was never anything more than a friend to her.
“That was the first thing they told us. They were just like, ‘This is how you end.’ [claps hands] It was super awkward. Lauren was like, ‘Might as well go ahead and grab his butt too!’” he said.
He was on 'The X Factor' in 2013
According to Billboard, Kane Brown made it to The X Factor back in 2013. But when he realized the producers wanted him to be in a “boy band,” he quit the show.
Kane Brown's big breakthrough came when 'Used to Love You Sober' went viral
In 2015, Kane Brown released “Used to Love You Sober” on his birthday (October 15). Within two days of its release, it hit No. 2 on the Country Digital Sales chart, and debuted at No. 82 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. Shortly after the success of the single, he was signed to RCA Nashville.
He's married with two children
In 2018, Kane Brown married his longtime girlfriend, Katelyn Jae. People was the first to break the story of their marriage. The couple has two daughters.