Chely Wright | I'm Gay | Music | News

Watch: Country Singer Chely Wright Talks About Being Gay


Country singer Chely Wright brought her coming out story to the Today show this morning.

Said Wright: "Well, country music has never had a country music artist in its history acknowledge his or her music was my dream...I knew that I needed to hide this to achieve my dreams. There had never been an openly gay country music artist. Country music is typically known to be's widely known to be about God and country and family and for some reason people don't think that can co-exist with being a homosexual."

Wright also talks about how she almost shot herself because of having to hide who she was.

Watch the segment, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Wright also has an interview today at Edge.

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  1. Wasn't KD Lang considered a country singer when she came out?

    Posted by: Joey Watkinse | May 5, 2010 1:24:21 PM

  2. Good for her - I'm a country music fan, and it's about time!

    Posted by: Steve | May 5, 2010 1:25:36 PM

  3. sweet, I'm glad she's found peace... but what about kd lang, she came out 20 years ago. i hate she's not acknowledging that.

    Posted by: michael | May 5, 2010 1:28:17 PM

  4. yes, kd lang came out nearly two decades ago... but she;s canadian and americans are ethno centric and always think they are the first at everything

    Posted by: bob | May 5, 2010 1:32:20 PM

  5. Us young people just can't remember that long back.

    Posted by: Robert | May 5, 2010 1:37:03 PM

  6. k.d. lang has been out for years.

    Posted by: excy | May 5, 2010 1:42:32 PM

  7. kd lang was NOT a country artist when she came out. She had a couple of country LPs in the late 80s, but by the time she came out in the early-mid 90s, she was purely a pop artist. Chely is completely accurate in her statement (and kd was certainly never mainstream country, either).

    Posted by: Chris in Kansas | May 5, 2010 2:00:47 PM

  8. Bob,
    "americans are ethno centric and always think they are the first at everything"
    Really? First of all Kd Lang was outed prior to her being open and she had already moved away from country and was well in the mainstream by then.
    Secondly, your painting Americans with such broad strokes is exactly the bigoted type of attitude that keeps people closeted.
    Get a grip and lose the petty anti american crap!!

    Posted by: dennis | May 5, 2010 2:13:21 PM

  9. Good for her! I remember living in the closet, hiding and trying to make it work. There is nothing more depressing; nothing more difficult and demoralizing. Anyone that finally comes out, at whatever age will find peace and deserve our support! I am very proud of Chely and anyone that struggles with coming out.

    Posted by: RB | May 5, 2010 2:27:26 PM

  10. Here is a really great interview with her:

    If you still have doubts about her motives, read it, please please please. She's barely out to her family and friends and she does this. She talks in the article about repealing DADT too. I am really impressed with her.

    Just bought her album on iTunes. If you have any tolerance for country or folk, support this woman.

    Posted by: Andrea | May 5, 2010 2:32:13 PM

  11. I'm sorry but kd lang WAS country. She didn't go pop until the country music scene shunned her. In fact, Shadowland in the late 80's went to number 9 on the country charts. That's pretty mainstream if you ask me.

    Posted by: Darrell | May 5, 2010 3:02:18 PM

  12. John Rich sounds like a total douchebag. I used to like his music. It's all going in the delete folder now.

    Go Chely!

    Posted by: Waynesf | May 5, 2010 3:10:21 PM

  13. I wish she had challenged her country fans with an expectation that they open their minds a bit... ask them if they could change their own orientation, for example.

    And that stuff in the comments above... sorry folks, American ARE ethnic-centric. Even the use of the expression makes us so- we're actually North Americans. It's good to leave the country once in a while & see there's a whole world happnin' w/o us.

    Posted by: stephen | May 5, 2010 3:46:21 PM

  14. kd lang was huge at the country western bars out west during the late 80s and early 90s when I was a regular two-stepper. To call "Big-boned Gal from Southern Alberta" anything other than pure country is crazy.

    It doesn't diminish Chely Wright's action in any way to acknowledge how big kd's coming out was in 1992 and to pretend it didn't happen is either ignorant or dismissive of lang's pioneering influence.

    Posted by: Smartypants | May 5, 2010 4:09:44 PM

  15. sleepy.

    Posted by: TANK | May 5, 2010 4:13:55 PM

  16. CHRIS IN KANSAS, you're clueless about k.d. lang.

    k.d. lang was mainstream country enough to win 2 Grammy awards in the country music category. She officially came out in 1992 in The Advocate. By that time, she had already won 2 Grammy Awards - Best Country Vocal Collaboration (1989) - Crying w/ Roy Orbison; and Best Female Country Vocal Performance (1990) - Absolute Torch and Twang. After coming out, she won 2 more Grammys - Best Female Pop Vocal Performance (1993) - Constant Craving; and Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album (2004).

    Chely Wright's career in country music began in 1994 when she released her debut album. Chely would have been about 24 years old. She didn't even get any top 40 hits on the country charts till 1997. She has won 1 Academy of Country Music award but has had zero Grammy nominations.

    I think it's completely disingenuous of Chely and her publicist Howard Bragman to keep claiming that there has been no other LGBT country music star to have come out before Chely.

    Posted by: RJ | May 5, 2010 6:07:03 PM

  17. k.d. was definately out way before Chely. She was already singing and gaining national attention in her native Canada in the early 80's, even had formed a Patsy Cline (who was her inspiration) 'tribute' band.

    I remember falling in love with her voice way before she became popular here in the States and everyone knew she was gay then.

    It was in '89 when she won her first Grammy here in the States, but it wasn't her first award. She'd won that in Canada for 'most promising' female vocalist back in '85.

    It wasn't until she hooked up with Roy Orbison that she began getting attention here in the states.

    If the quibble is coming out officially, then it would have been in 1992 in an article in the Advocate. But her fans already knew.

    Just my 2 cents.

    I'm glad this Chely got the balls to finally come 'out'... but, she wasn't the first cw female singer to do so. k.d. did, although a Canadian one, she still is/was a country/western singer.

    Posted by: aleabeth | May 5, 2010 7:28:19 PM

  18. I wonder who'll be next. Garth? Kenny?

    Posted by: InscrutableTed | May 5, 2010 8:15:43 PM

  19. John Rich is an asshole.

    Posted by: Brad | May 6, 2010 12:36:20 AM

  20. chely looks like giada bighead.

    Posted by: marion dragulescu | May 6, 2010 1:28:06 AM

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