Singer, songwriter, and 1999 Academy of Country Music AwardsÂ New Artist of the Year Chely Wright is gay, according to TMZ.Â It has been common knowledge for the past week or so that People magazine was going to reveal on an upcoming cover a country music star proclaiming that they were gay. There were several guesses tossed around but many were going with Shelby Lynne, although some country music industry experts thought this to be just a red herring. TMZ reported Saturday night that Chely Wright would be the country artist “coming out” in People magazine this week.
It’s a bold career move for a country music artist, considering that country music fans are predominantly conservative.Â But it is 2010 and perhaps it is time for country music to have an openly gay artist.Â
That is correct — Chely Wright would be country music’s first openly gay artist.Â
Along with the big news of being country music’s first gay artist, Chely Wright also has a new book and a new album coming out as well.Â The book, Like Me: Confessions of a Hearland Country Singer, will hit the bookstores on May 4., the same day her album, “Lifted Off The Ground,” launches.Â
Chely Wright hit it big with a #1 country single in 1999 with “Single White Female.”Â Since thenÂ the 39-year-old songstressÂ has released seven albums and written hits for Brad Paisley (to whom she was romantically linkedÂ at one time) andÂ Richard Marx.Â Â Â She also wrote Clay Walker’s Top 10 country hit “I Can’t Sleep.”