“On one hand, Luke Combs is an amazing artist, and it’s great to see that someone in country music is influenced by a Black queer woman — that’s really exciting,” she said. “But at the same time, it’s hard to really lean into that excitement knowing that Tracy Chapman would not be celebrated in the industry without that kind of middleman being a White man.”

The article sparked a massive backlash from both the left and the right, who felt it had diminished Tracy Chapman’s cultural achievement by reducing her to another helpless victim despite her unprecedented success. Fortunately, as the months went on, neither Chapman nor Combs took the bait and ignored the divisive conceit, officially putting the false controversy to an end on Sunday night when the two bowed in honor of the other as the audience rose for a rousing standing ovation.

Paul Roland Bois directed the award-winning feature filmEXEMPLUM, which can be viewed for FREE on YouTube or Tubi. “Better than Killers of the Flower Moon,” wrote Mark Judge. “You haven’t seen a story like this before,” wrote Christian Toto. A high-quality, ad-free stream can also be purchased on Google Play or Vimeo on Demand. Follow him on Twitter @prolandfilms or Instagram @prolandfilms.