big reveals

Country Singer Chely Wright Will Be May 5’s Big ‘Celebrity’ Coming Out

FIRST ON QUEERTY — It’s definitely not Oprah or Kevin Spacey. It’s almost certainly not Queen Latifah or Tyler Perry. And it’s likely not even Matt Bomer or Kelly Clarkson. And while the current favorite for May 5’s big celebrity coming out points to country singer Shelby Lynne, we’ve got a more informed entry: Chely Wright, the 39-year-old American County Music Award winner.

Why Wright? Our curiosity piqued when a source at People magazine — which has secured an interview and spread with the person — wrote us a one-line email: “Have you considered it might be Chely Wright?” We hadn’t! So we started doing some digging. (A Queerty commenter, while we were working on this item, even floated Wright’s name in our earlier post.)

As it turns out, Wright, who’s been absent from the industry for a half decade, has a new album and memoir coming out (hah!) May 4. The day before her planned big reveal. The book is titled Like Me: Confessions of a Heartland Country Singer. The album is titled Lifted Off The Ground. And both should see a huge spike in sales with the buzz of a coming out.

Wright, who was named in 2001 to People‘s “Most Beautiful” list, has much to gain from coming out. Namely, financial gains. Her first major studio record debuted in 1994. She’s released six records since. Only one album, Single White Female in 1999, went gold; its self-titled single, hit No. 1 on the country charts. She’s never repeated that success. So here comes her seventh effort at hitting it big: Vanguard Records releases Lifted Off The Ground on Tuesday, and the publisher Pantheon releases Like Me the same day. describes the book as “a book of revelation: honest, inspiring and true.” Indeed!

(NB: What about Shelby Lynne’s publicist’s remarks? Lynne’s publicist issued standard neither-confirm-nor-deny statements to Gawker about whether that country singer was going to be in (or on) People in the next issue. Such non-committal remarks can often be interpreted as confirmations. But if Wright is May 5’s coming out, that doesn’t mean Lynne isn’t gay, nor does it mean Lynne’s rep lied.)

So on the one hand, it’s not some A-list celebrity that’s coming out and changing the world. On the other hand, at least it’s not an “obvious” celeb like Johnny Weir, who is out in all but name only.

Meanwhile, a search to find anyone who Wright has dated publicly turns up empty. Even the website, which often marks two people as having dated if they were merely once spotted together in public, turns up empty on Wright. The closest she’s gotten to, ahem, marriage? A duet she co-wrote with Brad Paisley called “Hard to Be a Husband, Hard to Be a Wife.” And interestingly, there is no “Personal Life” section on her Wikipedia entry, suggesting it may be constantly scrubbed.

The country music blog The 9513 describes Wright’s new record as “excellent,” and notes:

On Lifted, Wright goes public with her own private hell. During much of a five-year hiatus from the music business, Wright–”a big ball of pain and pajamas” as she puts it on “Notes”–holed up inside her New York City apartment as she dealt with a long-term depression. Urged on by friend and mentor Rodney Crowell, she turned her personal tumult into a candid song cycle that shows just how she’s blossomed into a first-rate singer-songwriter. Such artistic growth comes as a welcome surprise. A pretty brunette with a big voice, Wright seemed to be the conventional country music babe upon her debut. Even People Magazine took notice, naming her to its 50 Most Beautiful People list. But as Wright hovered around the Faith-Shania axis in the late 90s, she carried a different tune than her pretty peers, trending towards more quirky fare that paid little heed to Nashville formulas. Of course, she remained a mere blip on country radio’s radar, despite scoring a #1 hit with 1999’s “Single White Female.”

Escaping from her music career? Hiding from your public? If this isn’t an apples-to-apples repeat of fellow singer Jennifer Knapp’s build up to her own coming out, we don’t know what is.

On the album’s opening cut, “Broken,” Wright begs to an untrusting lover: “Why can’t you just believe in me?” These matters of faith are the focus of Lfited, from the dreamy, psychedelic “Snow Globe” to the hushed, intimate closer “Shadows of Doubt.” Wright never minces words or wastes melodies. Take “Damn Liar,” a primal, lite-metal ballad that smolders with white-hot anger. Not one to shy away from pain or profanity, she issues a crude rebuke to her beloved: “Fuckin’ liar, that’s what you are.” The Alanis-like “Object Of Your Rejection” is a similarly cynical take on romance, aimed at a nasty ex who “can get away with treating people like shit.” Obscenities aside, the language on Lifted is swift and sure and sounds like a desperate cry for freedom.

Done and done.

Can we guarantee it’s Chely Wright who’s coming out May 5? Nope. Can we guarantee Chely Wright is even gay? Not exactly. But taking into consideration all available information, we’re putting our money on this one. And we’ve got a very good feeling we nailed it. At this point, we know it to be true.

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  • jerseyguy

    Who?!?! I thought Shelby Lynne was digging at the bottom of the irrelevant well, but I have never even heard of this woman. If it is her then it obviously a ploy to get her career kick started.

  • Ricky

    And I though Shelby Lynne was random. I must live under a very big rock when it comes to country acts. Kudos if it is her but I’m still slightly dissapointed it wasn’t someone with better name recognition.

  • Damian

    Thought they said it was going to be an A-lister? Never heard of her , is she big in US?

  • Kieran

    You mean THE Chely Wright?

  • rrr

    @Damian: There were no statements that it was going to be an A-lister.

  • Geoff M

    Welcome to the club…but I was hoping for someone who would make a more exciting impact.

  • Lamar

    How disappointing if it is really her, I had hoped it would have been someone famous coming out to use their fame as a tool to show that even decent celebrities who people idolize can be gay but she just seems to be another woman who wants to exploit the issue of sexuality for money and fame.

  • goofball

    It was a typo….they should have said “D” lister, not “A” lister…and certainly she is exploiting the issue for money and fame. Sad that desperate people can manipulate fans and will do anything for a buck.

  • Paschal

    Does no one find it odd that a source from People would make such a comment to Queerty?

  • Louie

    She’s hot. I’m all for her coming out.

  • goofball

    @Damian: no not really

  • Kyle412

    The guy who lives on the 5th floor of my building who was on season 3 of Project Runway and came in 6th place is a bigger “celebrity” than this woman. If she is the “celeb” I’m sure THE VIEW and Larry King producers aren’s going to be happy being duped.

  • Jeremy

    @Kyle412: You mean Vincent- the most annoying designer in PR’s history?

    Please, please let the person who comes out on May 5th be someone much bigger than this woman!!!!

  • Gert

    Wow, talk about a huge disappointment!

  • Sean

    I am still in shock that it could be someone in country music. Country music hates gays as do a lot fans of this music. Brave she is to do it I say. Anyone who comes out should commended. It is not like it happens everyday in the entertainment industry, no less country music.

  • Baxter

    @Sean: Coming out just to sell more copies of your book is slightly less commendable…

  • joe

    I’ve never heard of this “celeb” before in my life.

  • kimiwhit

    @Sean: I completely agree w/ Sean. To have someone in the country music industry come out is HUGE! Alos, Chely is very outspoken in her beliefs. Take a listrn to “Bumper of My SUV” for her opinion regarding those that are against military involvement overseas.

  • petrov

    Never heard of her.

  • Jon (that one)

    If this turns out to be the case . . .Howard Bragman got some ‘splainin to do.

  • Bobert


  • Bobert

    P.S. Wake me up when David Archuleta comes out of his closet

  • Seth

    You all sound soooo ignorant and hypocritical!! For any celebrity to come out today is hard enough, let alone if the person is a country celebrity. It seems your all so worried about who it is rather than the fact that one more person in the public spotlight is coming out into our community and it will make a huge impact on those to come. Stop the hate and welcome them with open arms just as we would want to be. And as far as $$$$ goes, coming out as a gay celebrity is hardly a cash cow so get your facts together!

  • Seth

    @Baxter: cause the gay’s always sell more books????????

  • fredo777

    good job @ spoiling all the suspense.

    why couldn’t you all just wait until the 5th instead of over-analyzing the shit out of it?

    *shakes head in disapproval*

  • Ted B. (Charging Rhino)

    Who?… What?…
    **Oh, …yawn**

    Was that May 5th, or Aprils Fools Day?
    Bragman, you’ve got some ‘splaining to do.

  • jason

    I bet that she has a boyfriend stashed away somewhere. The giveaway is that long, flowing hair.

  • Tommy Marx

    As someone who owns two of Chely’s CDs, I can say that even at the height of her success – with back to back hits “Single White Female” and “It Was” (one of my all-time favorite country songs) – Chely was never a major celebrity. More than ten years after the fact, I seriously doubt she would warrant the cover of People magazine just because she was coming out.

  • Ben

    Who? Never even heard of her…

    Too bad it is not someone who is actually relevant.
    Someone whos’ coming out story would be a positive
    impact on gay people and society.

    Yawn…ugh…wake me up when something interesting happens.

  • tazz602

    Oh great – another “who’s that” and someone who won’t make a damn bit of difference. Uggh.

    If we want to make a splash in the country music with a gay, let it be Kenny Chesney – his closet doors need to be blasted off and that would be the guitar heard round the world in the Country music world.

  • jeffree

    Chely isn’t going to make much a splash outside Country music fans. She will be the first female CW “star” to come out., so thats brave. (kd lang was marketed as a country singer but she wasn’t considered much of one even before she came out.)

    I don’t believe *any* male CW singer has come out, although Kenny Chesney has rumors running around about him.

    I remember the song Single White Female, listen to lots of CW music, but admit I didn’t know the name.

    She may sell some books but I bet she’ll lose some record sales and airplay, so this is not going 2 help with her career.
    For those of us from rural/semi rural places it may create some buzz, but among folks my age or you “city people” (lol), I think it’s not living up to the hype.

    Still, if it’s her, she’s brave, and a trailbreaker.

  • JP

    I’ve never even heard of her.

  • Anthony in Nashville

    Have not heard of her but some of you are killing me with your complaints that she is not “relevant” and not a bigger celebrity.

    Coming out is always a big deal. What is relevant is that whoever it is is willing to publicly proclaim their sexuality. I’m willing to bet some commenters are not publicly out.

    With few exceptions, celebrities come out only in the midst of scandal or when their career can use a boost.

  • Ian

    Um, WHO?? Is she even ‘D’ List? Cripes, if that’s the case good for her but also who cares.

  • goofball

    @Sean: not really brave, but is a manipulative way to capitalize on d list celeb and sell books and cd’s when you have little else going.

  • jeffree

    My favorite aunt made a good comparison. She follow’s celeb gossip like nobody’s business: She said “Meredith Baxter was known by everyone because of being so long on TV. If it’s this Chely, I think it’s not a big deal. If she was a Dixie Chick, that’s news.”

    SIDEBAR: She’s Dominican, or as she says “Black on the outside, Spanish inside” :-D but living in SE Indiana, married to a truckdriver, and a great two-stepper, she listens to CW music *all day long*, reads the tabs, subscribes to People etc, and she still couldnt put a face with the name. I trust her on that subject!!

  • D'oh, The Magnificent

    @Paschal: Yes. I find it odd and not believable. This is to get traffic.

  • DB

    Well good for her but definitely not worth all the hype it has gained.

  • Tony

    @jason: Shut up. Damn, you’re an idiot.

  • dvlaries

    Unless it’s a major male media star or professional sportsman whose macho persona and straight-heart throb status is a key element of his fame, no announcing female celeb short of Oprah is likely to ripple the waves.

    Politically incorrect? Sure. But lots of things politically incorrect are nevertheless true. You think straighty spends much time wondering what Ellen and Rosie do in bed…? Uh-uh. What lights the fireworks is Teddy Evangelist with a hustler’s dick up his ass or Mr. Idaho Senator trolling for cock in a airport restroom.

    I think this one’s gonna be a big yawn.

  • Erik

    If it is her, good luck to her.

  • Erik

    I agree with dvlaries

  • jeffree

    If it’s gotta be a country star, I wish it was Keith Urban, Nicole Kidman’s Aussie husband (superfine to look at — go google him if you’re unaware of him). Plus that theoretically make him Nic’s +second+ gay husband if u believe rumors!

    It’s ok, vote me down on this one :-D but wait till you see his photos before you do that !

  • jason


    Totally agree with you.

    I think it’s important to be politically incorrect even though it might cost us some of our friends in the liberal coalition.

    I, myself, haver been attacked mercilessly for criticizing fake lesbians, fake bi women, women who use their sexuality as a marketing ploy, blacks who are homophobic, and promiscuous gay men. There seems to be this prevailing orthodoxy which says “you must never attack a woman or a black or a fellow gay man no matter how appalling their behavior”.

    Well, you know what I say to them? I say I’m not attacking the women or the black or the fellow gay man per se. Rather, I’m attacking their behavior, their dishonesty, and their prejudices.

    If we allow women or blacks or fellow gay men to use their “identity” to insulate themselves from criticism, we’ll never get anywhere as a GLBT community. We’ll remain a permanently static, non-progressive movement that will ultimately self-destruct.

  • Michael

    How can someone be a celebrity when no one knows who they are? If this is true, her and her PR people deserve the whiplash they’re about to get. Using your “coming out” as a way to promote your comeback is complete bullshite.


    @dvlaries: Right, because Lance Bass, Neil Patrick Harris, Cheyenne Jackson and that guy from Will & Grace “caused waves” when they announced their homosexuality. The world stopped for ten seconds. I don’t know about you, but my life as a gay man was no better the day they (or even higher profile stars like Lambert and Martin) publicly came out than it was the day before. Get real. What you said was more than just politically incorrect, it was stupid.

    Ellen’s coming out was arguably the biggest ‘wave’-causing gay reveal the entertainment industry ever saw…and gasp…she’s female. So much for it needing to absolutely be a man in order to break down doors. Oh, wait a minute, I forgot…since she’s female, that means her success as an out lesbian is inconsequential. Doors were opened *for* her, because every straight guy dreams of being in a three-way with Ellen and her lover, and therefore lets her ride in the front of the bus.

    I wish some of you would quit being disingenious. Tell the truth, shame the devil. You are only interested in a celebrity coming out if they are male, under 40, weigh less than 200 lbs., and look like someone a young twenty-something would think is hot. Basically, you’re more interested in having a ‘trophy guy’ on your team to boast and brag with for the sake of feeling personally validated by their shiny presence, and/or pretending that you have a .000001% chance with. You couldn’t care less about someone actually making a difference with their content of their character, or work ethic. If you did, you’d equally appreciate anyone in the public eye who comes out…and wouldn’t split hairs over whether they are male or female, young or old, what kind of an audience they play to, or what kind of shape their careers are in.

    Truth be told, I never heard of this women either…but there are a lot of famous people I have never heard of. If she’s “the one” on the verge of coming out, then great. If she has an audience, then she still may have the power to change some minds regardless, and perhaps make somewhat of a difference. But ultimately, it shouldn’t even be about that. Celebrity or not, coming out shouldn’t be done for the sake of antagonism, vanity, or social politics. It should be done for the sake of that individual resolving to live free and honest from that point on. That being said, tell me again why “ripple waves” from a male celebrity are so damn important?!

  • wmcarpenter

    I’m still counting on Michael Bivins from Bell Biv DeVoe.


    @jason: Jason, please. You have proven yourself to be a racist, misogynist, attention-seeking troll — who is using the anonymity of the Internet to post ignorant remarks for the sake of instigating a negative reaction to get off on. Don’t try to martyr yourself as someone virtuous guy who takes a staunch approach to argue for the sake of the good. No one is buying it.

  • james_in_cambridge

    You better be wrong. I mean Chely Who now? If this is true and it’s not Brad Pitt (or someone who resembles Brad Pitt or is related to him somehow), I’m coming out as straight.

  • jason

    Conversation Chamber,

    I think you’re confusing advocacy with information.

    The poster DVLaries was simply informing us of his opinion. I don’t necessarily think he was advocating a particular position.

    The reason Ellen got all that publicity is because women are glamorized due to their gender, and everything else that flows from it, such as female bisexuality or lesbianism, is also considered “hot”. It’s a form of pro-female political correctness.

    Argue all you like but you can’t deny this exists.

  • Abel

    Never heard her, never heard OF her either. What a bore.

  • lacitus

    I don’t think Ellen is/was ever considered “hot” by the general public.

  • jeffree

    When Ellen came out, lets remember, it was a big deal for the TV watching public, but rumors had been circulating for years. When her now-wife, the beautimous Portia di Rossi (sp?) came out, it didn’t create as much brouhahaha, because it was years later & other women actresses had come out too. Thats progress, to some extent.

    Country music hasn’t had a bright light or lesser light come out yet. A female singer, albeit C or D list may pave the way for other CW performers 2 do the same.
    I hope eventually a male star will take the plunge someday soon too.

    @james_in_cambridge: Will, I mean well, Keith has got a good voice, rockin body &mighty fine hair. I have NO idea if he’s gay, but hey I can dream, cant I ?? He’d get cuddles & brunch for sure !!

  • Kyle412


    Aren’t K.D. Lang, the Indigo Girls and Melissa Etheridge all close enough to country musicians? If Shania Twain, Carrie Underwood or Faith Hill came out then I would be shocked. This lady not so much.

  • Kyle412


    Uhhhh… Adam Lambert has never ever been higher profile than Lance Bass or Neil Patrick Harris. Lance has been around for over 10 years and Neil for close to 20 years and we saw him grow up on TV. Adam hasn’t even had a career for 8 months and won’t be around in 2 years.

  • Latebrosus

    Well, >I< know who she is from her duet with Brad Paisley.

    Although, it weren't her I had my eyes on.

  • jaja

    Finally! An American COUNTY Award winner is coming out.

  • jeffree

    @Kyle412: Good idea but:
    –kd lang [Canadian] was marketed as CW but barely accepted by Nashville before she came out & pretty much boycotted after that. Was played on urban CW radio but not much down South.

    –Indigo Girls: more folk/coffeehouse fare. Their progressive politics were a downfall before they came out [they weren’t a couple, BTW] Didn’t survive hammering by the souther roots stations.

    –Melissa: Tried to go the Reba route but was seen as too much of a “rocker” to fit in. Not a big fave of Nashville fans.

  • Jon

    I want it to be Elisabeth Hasselbeck. She was hanging out with Melissa Etheridge last week. Perhaps Melissa converted her.

  • AlwaysGay

    Good for her. You guys are so mean. Stop ruining her moment, this isn’t about you. We need to support gay people because their success means it’s easier for gay people following to be successful. Chely has my support.

  • fredo777

    @Kyle412: “Adam hasn’t even had a career for 8 months and won’t be around in 2 years.”

    Won’t be around in 2 years, my ass. Just because you don’t like him, don’t be ridiculous.

  • fredo777

    @AlwaysGay: I must agree with you on this.

    It’s wonderful to see that we support our fellow LGBT as long as they’re “current”, “relevant”, “hot”, “a-list”, or otherwise “on trend” + of the moment. Yikes.

    Like I said, I’d love if it were a big ol’ hot guy we all assumed was straight, for admittedly shallow reasons, but I’d give no less love or support if it were a woman. Even one that isn’t on anyone’s “it list”. Some of us are so jaded.

  • Erika

    Just because you people don’t know who she is means she’s not a celebrity? Bull. She’s had multiple hits, and a gold album. How many indie artists would kill to have that? I’d say many! Just because you aren’t a fan of country music doesn’t mean she isn’t a relevant name. I don’t like hip hop, but that doesn’t give me the right to call someone a “nobody” just because I personally haven’t heard of them.

  • jeffree

    If it’s Chely, then she’s the first Nashville-approved CW singer to come out. Earthshattering news? Nope. But her coming out clears the path for other LG country artists to come out.

    She didn’t even get mentioned on most people’s lists of probable “debutantes” –including mine– but she’s risking album sales & radio play if she comes out. Her coming out would mean that the next CW singer to come out will have footsteps to follow, and be less of an anomaly.

  • Devon

    Huh. With that kind of hype I thought we’d at least be getting someone on par with the cast of Jersey Shore.

    Oh well…File this one in the “who gives a shit?” folder.

  • lacitus

    I don’t think “she’s risking album sales and radio play if she comes out.” because she has had very little of either for the past several years. In fact her coming out in this manner could be considered instead a ploy for increasing album and book sales. This is all calculated to increase her sales, and to propel her from obscurity. Do you think she would be on magazine covers and on national television shows if she wasn’t coming out?

    This is why you get more C-listers coming out. They have little to lose.

  • Tessie Tura

    @jeffree: Ty Herndon never came out, but he was busted for propositioning an undercover police officer at a rest stop. SRSLY. Right after his debut album hit. Big coverup, then rehab, then jesus, then a wife, then the second CD. Hallelujah.

  • jason

    Note People magazine’s homophobic double standard. If it’s a woman, she gets front-page treatment. If it’s a man, he gets a corner photo on an inside page and a couple of small paragraphs.

    People has a homophobic double standard, no doubt.

  • Sam

    Oh man, I hope at least one of these rumors is true and it is a country music singer. I don’t care if it’s Chely Wright or Shelby Lynne, just as long as it’s someone in country music. So many country fans are so conservative, and ANY gay country singer who came out would bust down the closet doors for all the others.

    I promised myself I wouldn’t give in to all the hype, but now I can’t stop wondering who it is! Ugh. You win, Howard Bragman.

    @jason: How many times do people have to scream “LANCE BASS!!” at you before you’ll shut up about this? Both Lance Bass and Clay Aiken appeared on the cover of People magazine to come out. When Ellen came out, she appeared on the cover of Time – and that’s the last time I remember any lesbian getting cover treatment for coming out. If there’s any double standard going on, it’s exactly the OPPOSITE of what you’re bitching about.

  • DR

    Y’know what, just because it may not be relevant to guys like you doesn’t mean it’s “irrelevant”.

    We always talk about “how will this could be good for [insert group of people here]”, yet here many of you are talking trash because it’s not someone “famous”. Maybe this will be good for the kid in Wyoming or Tennessee who does listen to her music, has that thought crossed your mind?

    Most of you never heard of Jennifer Knapp, but her coming out was great because many of you felt like she was breaking stereotypes and “thumbing her nose at the Christian man”. How many of you remember her name past last week without having to look it up?

    ANY celebrity is good. A list or Z list. If it is Ms. Wright, will my world stop? No, just like it didn’t stop for Ricky Martin or Lance Bass. Me, gonna wish that Shad Smith would get another chance to fight. Oh, right, most of you don’t know who he is, either….

  • SAYA

    Did you get your Bisexually inclined boyfriend stolen by a woman with long flowing hair and a big rack? Could be one of the reasons for your misogyny..

  • WalkderDC


  • Dix Handley

    I thought it was going to be Hillary Clinton. Never heard of Chelllllly Wright!!!!

  • RickyTicky

    If you follow country-western, you will for sure know her. Single White Female and Bumper of My SUV, both big hits. BUT, I would not put her in the A-list bucket. If it’s gonna be a country artist, can we at least get a Tanya Tucker, Reba or maybe Taylor?

  • Joe

    “Yawn”…Never even heard of Her.
    Why cant it ever be “OMG, YOUR KIDDING” No way! Wow!
    Ive had the biggest crush on Him for Years.
    What a disappointment!

  • The Milkman

    With all the hype about this coming out thing, they set themselves up for disappointment if the celebrity was anyone less than Oprah. But this? Wow. What an anti-climax.


  • alan brickman

    My favorite part of this all is her “Control Queen” press agent TELLING EVERYONE NOT TO COME OUT on May 5th so this grade z celeb can sell her book/record……some hero?!!!!

  • alan brickman

    “Being Gay” is not a talent you know….

  • gilber

    i give a shit whether those artists who publicly come out are famous or not, as long as they break the stereotypes that lesbian are tomboys and gay men freaking flaming queens. Just look at how feminine and elegant these two girls are(shelby and chely), either of them would be good to show that gay and lesbian people come in very different “ways”…….

  • Tricky

    Queerty, I hope you are wrong. The entire point of a celebrity coming out, is the C-E-L-E-B-R-I-T-Y part. No offense to this lady. She looks nice by the way, but I was kind of hoping that who ever comes out would have enough name recognition for other celebrities to come out. I mean unfortunately, it will take celebrities and Professional Sport Athletes coming out to make the young people see that it is OK to be gay and they should not be ashamed. But in the mean time congratulations Chely. But really? I mean she could have just sent out a Tweet.

  • Jack E. Jett

    I’d be more impressed if it were my cousin in East Texas.

  • riese

    is anyone else annoyed that TMZ is now claiming they broke this story, 24 hours after it was actually broken right here? and that they don’t source queerty? CAN WE REDIRECT OUR HOMO-RAGE IN TMZ’S DIRECTION?


  • petrov

    No, I’ve never heard of her, but then again I don’t care for country music. I wish her well, but I hope she realizes her music will never again be played on country radio stations. That’s just the way it is.

  • tazz602

    According to one of the press that has an interview scheduled with the celeb on 5/5, NO ONE has guessed right. So this just might be a red herring from People to Queerty. I can just see them laughing at us. LOL.

  • curiouser and curiouser

    I agree with those who have said that media agents would never have booked a little-known (at least on a national level) star. That makes me believe that this person is at least of some public interest.

    If this person is a female country singer, what about:

    A. Shania Twain. Isn’t she recently divorced? She could pull the whole “I just woke up and realized one day” thing.
    B. Wynonna Judd. She’s always seemed a little gay to me.
    C. Dolly Parton. I don’t believe anyone has actually seen her “husband” in real life.

    On the other hand, all three of these women seem like they would have better PR people than this guy. Most of his clients look like C-listers to me. And Dolly’s PR has been tightly controlled for all of her career.

    So either this person has so much money and fame that coming out won’t change a lot of and will do some good or this person has so little money and fame she could benefit from a little gay attention. Would People magazine waste a cover on a singer as low-profile as Shelby Lynn or Chely Wright? It seems to me that the cover is what sells the magazine.

  • jeffree

    @tazz602: Which press? Source or link would be appreciated. Thanks!

  • jeffree

    @Tessie Tura: That’s right about Ty H. Good looking guy, good singer, got swallowed up by Nashville & “thrown under the tourbus” after his incident with the cop.

    I still think it will take babysteps for CW artists to come out: start with a woman under the radar, them a more famous woman, maybe then a guy with a couple hits, and then a midlevel guy, then a One Two combo of A list woman and man coming out !! how’s that for ESP!?

    I think thats how the path is going to be made. I wish it wasnt so dang incremental, but us country folk often don’t appreciate sudden changes. I grew up one: not ashamed to admit that !

  • HS

    ohhh you guys feel cheated because is not a bigger celebrity???

    so funny, and sad.

  • alan brickman

    What ever happened to Ty Heardon??…..

  • alan brickman

    Still waiting for gays to sue successful sports players for bullying them in schools when they were young…when is that going to start??? this is important!!!

  • curiouser and curiouser

    @jeffree: I would tend to agree with you about the baby steps that CW tends to take, but the situation is paradoxical because the media that this person is getting is pretty big (People mag, Larry King, The View). While I mentioned Dolly earlier, I don’t really think it will be someone of her level of fame.

    Chely Wright fits with the “under the radar” category, but I think she is so under it media would feel duped if Bragman secured her those interviews. If she is “the one,” then it seems to be that Bragman is putting his future credibility with the media on the line.

    The only way I see big media outlets taking her on is if they foolishly think that Wright would be a sell to “middle america.” That would mean they are extremely out-of-touch and unaware of the way a more conservative group of people operate. Very generally speaking, most of country music’s audience would reject her. And quite a few gays would probably pick up the album and book just to be supportive. Her coming out would probably shift her audience over from one relatively small group of people to another relatively small group of people–sort of like how the Dixie Chicks’ audience changed after the Bush remark.

    All in all, I don’t think it would be someone that most people would react to with “Who?”

  • Chuck

    Who the hell is Chely Wright? To be a celebrity, you have to be known to a large number of people as being good at something; judging from the responses above, that is not the case here. What was it Billy S said? Oh, yes…Much Ado About Nothing.

  • curiouser and curiouser

    Trying not to take this too seriously, but as a gay who grew up listening to a lot of country music this makes for an interesting and fun riddle of sorts.

    I would say this woman is fairly successful but not wildly so. I would say it would be a singer who doesn’t expect to lose her fan-base. Also, if she has had the public eye on her at all she probably has been married to a man at some point.

    1. Emmylou Harris. She’s currently divorced. Her audience is established. Her fans are more coffehouse-oriented music types who wouldn’t shun her anyway.

    2. Roseanne Cash. Problem is, she’s married. Although over the years her fans, like Harris’, have change to a more alternative country crowd for whom her queerness would not be a big deal. Also she lives in Chelsea, Manhattan. ;)

    Despite the obvious issue that both of these women have had multiple marriages to men, I don’t think their really of the personality type to talk about their sexuality on TV. I tend to view them as solely focused on their art.

    So then, a more attention-seeking personality? It would have to be:

    3. Wynonna. She’s currently divorced. She obviously tries to stay in the media. I read that she’s played on lesbian cruises in the past. She’s successful, but her current music doesn’t get that much airplay. She already has a big gay following. She is “big” enough to merit national media coverage.

  • JMO

    Why does this coming out “event” need to be some big, earth shattering event that causes time to stand still? Why does it need to be some huge, powerful, A-list celebrity, who will become a circus sideshow for about a week before everything returns back to the way it basically was?

    I really hope (whoever it is) that it’s taken in stride and ISN’T the top story of the day. It’s tacky and at the end of the day, I have to wonder if it really “open minds” or inspires change. Celebrity is a huge smokescreen. They tend to be mythic, a bit surreal and aren’t that easy to relate to. I imagine that not too many people who weren’t fans of Ricky Martin fifteen minutes before he came out suddenly started liking him after…or that Adam Lambert has inspired too many homophobes to change their tune. At the end of the day, it all pretty much comes back full circle. Their fans remain the fans. Their non-fans remain their non-fans. And that’s it.

    The people who inspire REAL social change for the are the everyday folks who have real relationships with others; the co-workers, the doctors, the next door neighbors, the sons/daughters, the best friends. They are the one’s who help the gay community the most by coming out. Not some pretty singer, brut actor or sports star.

  • s_b

    Does anyone else think that when the hint is “hey! have you considered it might be [name]???” that maybe they’re just messing with you and it’s someone completely else?

  • JP

    God what a disappointment.

  • fredo777

    Oh, shit, I know who it is…

    Michael Phelps

  • tazz602

    It was a tweet from BenAndDave of Ben and Dave six pack who also are slated to be part of the announcement.

    JMO – at least we have moved from celebrities outright denying news articles in tabloid rags (Liberace), to celebrities coming out because of stories in tabloid rags (NPH) – to this, to where they make an announcement and it’s a news story with press lined up to hear their tale. It’s all progress. Someday, some day we’ll be at the point where it’s “meh – another gay” and hopefully in my lifetime.

  • Merags


    If this is true and it is her, it will be a media/publicity fail, because NO ONE KNOWS WHO SHE IS. Like, I have never heard of her in my life, nor have anyone of my friends I just asked. So to me, she is just someone who came out. Good for her, props. But in terms of a “coming out” celebrity, this is completely just whatever.

  • brihova

    So y’all want people to come out of the closet, but if they’re not famous enough you’re not happy? Gee If MLK only asked the most famous black people to come out and support his fight for civil rights I wonder how far would he have gotten? Get a grip my fellow gays, it doesn’t take the most famous person in the world to cause change just look at Rosa Parks or the recently deceased Dorthy Height. All it takes to change the world is for someone to stand up for what’s right. You yourself can cause change if you want to, stop looking to other people to validate you.

  • s_b

    @brihova: I don’t think people are really so upset that the person who’s coming out is (apparently) not an A-lister, it’s more that there was a huge publicity effort that sort of led everyone to believe that this was going to be a bigger deal than it (apparently) is. If she’d just come out without the two weeks of “SOMEONE’S COMING OUT!!! WHO WILL IT BE???” I think everyone would be way more supportive.

  • Rob Moore

    I hate being wound up by PR people. Until I read about her elsewhere, today, I can’t say I remember hearing of her in the past. Then again, the only time I listen to country music is when I channel surf through some music video and the male singer is exceptionally good looking, or I am forced to visit an establishment that insists on playing Redneck Woman on a loop.

  • Whoddafunk?

    Okay I read the first twenty comments or so and had enough… People are acting like exploiting your coming out for money is okay if you’re an A-Lister (or just someone that they know or like) but not when you’re trying to make it big… well in any scenario, it doesn’t really matter… singers and artists make their bread on exploiting themselves in the media, just as we ALL make our bread exploiting ourselves in some way or another. We may wish we got paid as much as people who do things that are more frivolous and less important than we do, but that doesn’t change the fact that even if she is using her coming out to gain money, you can bet she’s not pretending to be gay to come out to make money. She’s just living her life, as a country music artist, and going through her own stuff.

    I would not be surprised, however, if the message to Queerty was simply to promote Chely Wright’s name in gay media… and I also wouldn’t be surprised if Queerty knew for sure who was coming out and just isn’t supposed to reveal it until May 5th and thus wants to play with us all a little beforehand.

    But for you losers out there criticizing her for the crime of being slightly-famous-but-not-famous-enough-and-making-a-media-spectacle-of-her-coming-out-on-top-of-that… I dunno what to say … get a life? That criticism can only come from jealousy or some other negative emotion. If you really are against artists exploiting themselves in the media to make their bread then you better stop listening to all of your favorite artists.

  • jeffree

    @tazz602: Thanks! Agreed: I too want to live in a world where a celebrity comes out, and there are no tabloids or tv stations or blogs feel the need to treat that as news. It’s like “OMG, One of the Jonas Brothers is Left Handed!” or “Rachel Maddow reveals she dyes her hair!” I dont actually know or care if what hand they write with or if they color their tresses. Someday, I hope we’ll get there with a celebrity being l/g/b.

    @curiouser and curiouser: Totally agree with you. Even for many of us who are from the “heartland” if it’s Chely Wright it’s going to be a “Who the Heck is She” moment. If it is her, well, she’s a couragious first, but probably not worthy of front page attention or prime time news.

    My skeptical side still wonders if the People Mag “leak” to Queerty was a red herring, and someone with greater relevance/ import will be the *actual* “gay debutante” but only time will tell!

    P.s. If Alan Jackson came out you could hear me screaming for 100 miles! He of course is str8, but i have the right to my own dreams, correct? Lol……


  • WalkderDC

    So another hasbeen ten years past the height of her career is coming out of the closet to get some attention and get back in the spotlight. Maybe she and Ricky Martin can go do a reality show together.

  • Sean

    LAME! I like some country and have no clue who she is. It’s just a cry for attention/relevance again. I’ve never heard of her, just checked I-tunes and don’t recognize her music. What happened to “An A-lister” Queerty? Oh that’s right once again you and you’re “not so blind items” are full of sh$t!!!!

  • Joey O'H

    Wow! The big news. Who?

    I was hoping for someone with star power. Not a D-list has been that virtually no one knows of.
    I don’t see this woman as a “voice” for the gay movement. Yes, gya movement, where we need to be more vocal than ever on our basic civil rights.
    How convenient for someone to “come out” to push your book and try and salvage your floundering music career (who had a hit in 1999!!).

    What a joke… what a dud!

    Check please!!

  • Bob

    Who cares…go back and shut the closet door and keep your book and new CD! Why didn’t you come out when you had your 15 minutes of fame?

  • Joey O'H

    I don’t know who she is but I have no respect for her. She’s coming out to promote her album and her book. I find her repulsive!

  • Anna

    If it really was her, it’d be interesting, but if it wasn’t, and Queerty’s guess was wrong, that’s be interesting too.

    But it really just spoils all the fun of guessing.

  • Sam

    Wow, you’re all being really hard on a woman who may not even be the debutante. If Chely Wright *is* gay, but *isn’t* the celebrity slated to come out May 5th, I wouldn’t be surprised if all these nasty comments didn’t make her just want to sink deeper into the closet.

  • Sam

    And one more thing: you know what would really suck? If someone came out and made a big deal about it and she was just some B-list comedian with a middling sitcom that was barely treading water.

    I am referring, of course, to Ellen DeGeneres circa 1997.

  • Cam

    No. 118 · Sam
    And one more thing: you know what would really suck? If someone came out and made a big deal about it and she was just some B-list comedian with a middling sitcom that was barely treading water.

    I am referring, of course, to Ellen DeGeneres circa 1997.

    This is nothing like that. “Ellen” had been a top 15 show, and Ellen herself was a recognized CURRENT celeb with a CURRENT job on TV. That is miles away from some singer whols last hit was 10 years ago.

  • CaliberGuy

    She is coming back, I hope she get some play on the radio! I’m horrible with names, but I do remember the song Singe White Female, I thought she was really good!Even if it is not her that is not coming out I do hope that she gets some radio play, she has to much of a great country singing voice to be hiding from her public in despair.

  • Joe

    BTW, When is Steve Guttenberg ever going to finally come out?
    Isnt He almost like 55yrs old?

  • Nightstalker

    Country Award, not County Award.

  • Forrest

    Given her low profile she is not going to break new ground.

    I guess we should not be too surprised. Howard Bragman’s client roster is B list and lower. This whole campaign was just another self promotion vehicle for his business. That’s his job.

  • Olga

    If it is really Chely all that coming out fuss was about i can just congratulate her. now she is definetly celebrity, Now even me, not an american and country music hater had time to listen one or two of her songs. And i even remember her face)

  • Cam


    Here is a posting I cut and pasted from a mainstreem blog. Sounds like the Hetros are thinking similar things to many of us.

    “”Chely will release her memoir, Like Me and a new album, Lifted Off The Ground, on May 4, 2010 – what a time to announce that your gay ! That is the cheapest promo available. She needs a boost in her career – there ya go ! Gimme a break !”

  • Seth

    @Erik: nice someone has something nice to say after all these haters!!!!!

  • goofball

    @Louie: Wanna come out? Cool, come out… but come out like that christian rocker (Jennifer Knapp)… well that’s brave! She comes out and debates about homosexuality and faith wich makes it bold and interesting. She adresses issues that are rarely adressed in these kind of communities.
    This woman, on the other hand has engineered a way to gain popularity (which in marketing terms is perfectly legit), but in a rather miserable and ridiculous way I have to say… for all this big campaign is more about relaunching her career than making a difference.

  • hephaestion

    No one has ever heard of Chely Wright. This is disappointing since we expected a big name to come out.

    But if it is Chely, good for her & Bravo for coming out.

  • Kelly

    @jason: Alright dude, you’re a total wanker. Your ignorant comments are unwelcome, and unexpected really. Stay in the car mate.

  • Aaron

    I will echo the sentiments of many and say that this is so obviously, blatantly a publicity stunt to ressurect a dead career. She had one hit, in 1999. Eleven freakin’ years ago! From the comments I’ve read here and on other blogs, the reactions are majorly of the negative/so what variety. I think her publicity stunt will backfire and she will sink back into obscurity.

  • delurker again

    She’s very pretty.

  • Redskin

    Well, Chely White’s broken my heart. I don’t admire lesbian or gay artists, so I won’t listen to her anymore.

  • JonathanHasHasIt

    and why is this woman news?

  • fredo777

    @JonathanHasHasIt: “and why is this woman news?”

    Because you’re still talking about her.

  • terrwill

    @fredo777: The idiot has spoken again! Still talking about her……for the first time in 10 years!! Get it, dumbass?

  • Chad

    Who gives a rat’s ass if the reaction to her coming out is negative? Yes, it is a publicity stunt, and yes, she isn’t as famous as some of the negative nellies would like, but she deserves support, just like everyone else does when they finally make the brave decision to come out. This is probably the end of her career because of the homophobic culture of country music and the apparent famewhoring that has cropped up in corners of the gay community, where the amount of positive support you find outside the closet door depends on how famous you are.

  • terrwill

    @Chad: Support? Puh-fucking-lease! How can you give support to something that is blatantly done purely for publicity? You’re pretty naive if you think she’s doing this for “personal growth”. She’s doing it to resurrect a dead career. End of story!

  • JonathanHasHasIt

    @fredo777: Idiot.

  • terrwill

    @JonathanHasHasIt: Totally agree! This fredo777 character is an idiot. Check his blog where he begs people to love him. Pathetic or what!

  • Stef

    how very non-exciting

  • $0.02

    Listen to all of you “celebrity” idiots! She’s not relevant? She doesn’t matter? Listen to you all you’re worse than straight people with their homophobia. She is a big deal to country music and recall that quite a few of those red state folks, yeah the ones that like to keep us from our rights listen to her and music like her’s. She busts some stereotypes for gay woman and gays in general by not looking like, acting like or behaving like what they think we as gays act like. When they see one of “their’s” is also one of “ours” perhaps more will realize that there are more of us out there that live amongst them, look like them, ARE them. Some of you are too small minded to realize that. No matter how high a person’s profile anyone having the courage to come out and be out and no longer lie is a big deal and a wonderful thing. Looking at these comments as an LGBT person, I’m ashamed to be linked to some of you in this community. I for one am proud of this woman and will show her the love, support and protection she should be getting from her community. All of you need to be ashamed of yourselves for treating another gay person the way you are. No wonder we can’t get anything done or any rights in this damn country more obsessed with so called “A-listers” being gay to fulfill some asinine fantasy than to show support to another person who is one of us, smdh…

  • marc

    @$0.02: Amen $0.02. Once again we are our own worst enemy. Way to go Chely, I for one know the amount of courage it takes to come out. Thanks for taking the first step for us in country music.


    I liked her early music, and she is lying if she did not use her looks to sell records, but when the hits stopped and she had enough money by playing a straight girl and saying she cried when Brad Paisley was nailing her, ( B.S.) Her music was not being listened to anymore, so is it me or just a coincendence that she puplished a book that you cannot swing a dead cat without hitting a add for it, and now she is all about the homos, and being a big activist for kids admitting they are queers. Now she wants to add a little icing on her ckake of greenbacks by selling her I am here and queer book. Which one will wear the dress and who will wear the tux.
    I still thank her for entertaining the troops in Iraq and Afghanistan, but no one thought she was a lesbian than. I would not care, and really still do not care, but I still feel she li8ed to her peers and fans by not admitting she was a lesbian, and to tell the world when she was screwing Brad Paisley, who by the way has a gorgeous wife, Kim Williams who is funny and has the prettiest eyes in the world, and I doubt she ever cries when she is with her husband, and I really do not beleive would be so caught up in having sex with a woman that he would not notice she was crying. Brad Paisley seems like a good man. I am straight, and I always thought Chely Wright was a beautiful girl and she still is, but I think she improved on her looks over the years when she was singing, then she bailed from Nasville, and probably lives near the village in New York. She knew that most real country music artist and fans where not going to go for her marrying another woman. Maybe now she will do PlayBoy to show that her body is sexy even though it;s off limits to men. I had all of her top albums, but I could not give them away on ebay. So I gave them away. When was her last good song. Single White Female, Shut Up And Drive. Jezebel. Never Love You Enough, that is all I can count. I did like like some songs on her c.d.’s that never hit the radio or scored a video. I liked her also because she entertained our tropps all while living a lie.
    Have fun in N.Y. Chely. Benn nice hearing about you. IT will be nicer to hear that you are living in Gay Bay wearing rainbow shirts and cheering everytime another woman joins your team.

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