AceShowbiz - Even country's hottest rising star Kane Brown isn't immune to racial bullying. The "What Ifs" crooner, whose shot to stardom originated from his YouTube covers, has opened up about getting into altercations with other children for being called the N-word when he grew up as a biracial kid in Georgia.
"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," the 25-year-old recalled his early brush with racial animosity in an interview with PEOPLE. "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."
The childhood incidents weren't the last of Kane's encounter with racial prejudice. "When I first got into country, I started getting some of those comments like, 'he's an N-word.' Stuff like that," the husband of Katelyn Jae dished. "I used to screenshot it and put it on Twitter, like, 'there's still racism in the world.' "
Despite the unpleasant experience, Kane argued, "I didn't get into country music just prove a point. I try to stay away from all negativity." In fact, the American Music Awards winner pointed out that racism "just made me stronger." He added, "Now you can call me whatever you want. It just brushes off of me."
Still, Kane is determined to stay away from trouble. "I just kept to myself," he explained how he avoided being hurt by bullies. "I kept my circle small. I had my friends that I knew wouldn't do anything to hurt me and I would also stand up for them, and those are still my friends today."
As he continues to climb the popularity ladder, Kane hopes that his story can be inspiration to others. "Hopefully I can help kids and they can end up being stronger in the long run too," the "Lose It" crooner simply said.