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Chely Wright -- She's Coming Out

5/2/2010 10:35 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF

TMZ has learned the big "coming out" announcement planned for this week will be ... country star Chely Wright.

There's been a big buzz over the last week as to which celeb was announcing he/she was gay ... we knew it was going to be unveiled in PEOPLE mag next week.  But now TMZ knows for sure.

Wright has a book coming out this week as well -- it's called, "Like Me."  And she has a CD coming out too -- called "Lifted Off the Ground."

The 39-year-old singer scored a #1 country song back in 1999 with "Single White Female," when she was named Academy of Country Music new artist of the year.

Wright is the first major country artist ever to come out.  She has been romantically linked to a number of celebs, including Brad Paisley.

This is a big deal in the country world.  Chely is rolling the dice on her career ... it's unclear how traditionally-conservative country fans will react.

Interesting ... she lists Howard Bragman as her publicist, who was the mastermind behind the Chaz Bono story. 

Mystery solved.

246 COMMENTS

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211.

Larry    

Is goofy and nonsense lesbian and gays-homosexuals publicly announcing their sexuality.Perhaps they do it for promoting homosexuality or self getting public publicity.Heterosexuals don't publicly announce their sexuality-hey,Talor Swift is a heterosexual.Regardless-all same sex-sex is not natural also morally and Spiritually wrong !.

1611 days ago
212.

mimi    

Ah come on. You said it would be a big name. I'm a huge country music fan and I've never heard of her. Her last song was 10 years ago???

1611 days ago
213.

Kali    

I like her songs Shut Up And Drive, and Jezebel. She's very brave to come out in the country music world, I wish her the best.

1611 days ago
214.

michelle nabach    

why does KD Lang not count?

1611 days ago
215.

Carl    

Chely is very talented, but she came along at a time when there were numerous good female artists and very few slots for females at country radio. For a while she got noticed by "gentlemen's magazines," then by the vegetarians, but her great service has been on the USO tours. She was loved at the Opry until she did her Chuck Berry song there.
Her music seems to have been moving from Nashville to New York in the past few years, so this may be the publicist's plan--maybe going pop like k.d. lang did.



The last I heard from her in the Nashville press was publicity for a NASCAR event, and she mentioned having been nailed for doing more than 90 mph in a Saturn. I do care about her, and I hope this isn't part of a pattern of self-destructive behavior.

1611 days ago
216.

Alan Carver    

Okay so Chely Wright you are G A Y ! BIG FREEKIN' DEAL! This will not REJUVENATE an ALREADY DONE COUNTRY SINGER CAREER! Your last relevant music was in 2001~! The Country Music Industry CERTAINLY has moved on and LEFT YOU BEHIND! But why not be a LESBIAN and see if that does the trick and get you back on Country Radio - HIGHLY DOUBTFUL, but hey if Whitney H can be a CRACK Head, Score Oprah, release a new album (went to #1) and is traveling her BELEAGUERED TOUR across Europe, who knows you MIGHT, and that is a SLIM might, just have a SHOT at another chance! Not Bloody Very Likely Though!

1611 days ago
217.

Debbie    

Guess what-I'm coming out-I'm Heterosexual. Who wants to hear what a person's sexuality is. Live your life and quit trying to get attention.

1611 days ago
218.

Jim    

"Wright is the first major country artist ever to come out." I don't follow C&W closely, but I thought the very talented k.d. lang was doing country when she came out.



1611 days ago
219.

gordon    

who cares what she does behind closed doors. start living your own life and quit worrying about other people. i love her music . people are so wrapped up in other peoples bussn. does this really affect you????

1611 days ago
220.

Benny Barnes    

Chely, I know you are here, I know you are queer, but I ain't never gonna get used to it! Come back to the other (right) side! I know you like men too!



1611 days ago
221.

Stephanie M.    

Mary Chapin Carpenter is an openly gay country singer and has been for years...

1611 days ago
222.

Tyler Durden    

This has been an open secret in Nashville for forever. No surprises here...

1611 days ago
223.

steve85    

This is ridiculous. I don't care if she is gay or straight, but the timing of her announcement (years after her career started, the launch of a new album, the release of a book) makes me question her motives. Is she doing this for fame as http://www.weltbranding.com/blog/ suggests?

1611 days ago
224.

Thornton Goode / Atlanta, Ga.    

K. D. Lang was the first!!!! You indicated yesterday that Cheyl was the first country singer to come out. This is not correct. K. D. Lang came out years ago and was supported by Dolly Parton and one other female country singer. The three sang a song together that played for a while on the country song list. But the pressure from the country community was so great, K. D. crossed over to the 'Pop' side. She made a big splash in the pop music world and remains there. I believe this information is correct from what I remember back then.

1611 days ago
225.

Jake    

She is basically a nobody in country music so I doubt her "coming out" will drastically change her day to day life. She was a one hit wonder and her "coming out" will not help or harm her career. If by chance (although slim) she does have a hit song and creates a music video showing lesbians or gays she will never have another video played on CMT, ever. For the record, I will NOT support her.

1611 days ago
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