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Testament’s Chuck Billy Honored by California Assembly Member

Bryan Bedder, Getty Images

When it comes to government, hard-hitting thrash metal is typically not the first thing that comes to mind. But Thursday (June 6) in California, Testament frontman Chuck Billy was officially recognized on the State Assembly floor for the positive influence he’s had on the Native American community.

The Gauntlet reports that democratic assembly member Jim Frazier honored Billy, stating, “The world of music is inhabited by creative and talented individuals whose work enhances the quality of life for all who are fortunate enough to have entered their sphere of influence. Not only does Chuck Billy embody all of these admirable qualities, he also personifies the strength and enduring spirit of Native Americans.”

Billy has openly embraced his Native American heritage and has included it as subject matter in such tracks as ‘Trail of Tears,’ ‘Allegiance,’ and most recently, ‘Native Blood.’ The rocker is a descendent of the Pomo Native Americans and spent much of his youth on the Hopland Indian Reservation just north of San Francisco.

Earlier this year, Billy became the first Native American entertainer to be permanently featured in a display at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Albuquerque, N.M. He’s also been recognized by the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian’s exhibit, ‘Up Where We Belong: Native Musicians in Popular Culture.’

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