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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.


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TMZ made the comment in their article that "Wright is the first major country artist ever to come out. She has been romantically linked to a number of celebs, including Brad Paisley."

That is an inaccurate statement. #1. Chely Wright is not regarded as a "major country artist". Furthermore, if she were regarded as such - she still wouldn't have been the FIRST of such artist to ever come out. KD Lang started her career as a Country artist and recorded multiple albums and had multiple #1 billboard hits as a country artist. She reveled that she was a lesbian many years ago. Your company needs better fact checkers although I'm convinced that stating a "fact" is not what interests you. After all, you are organized by an attorney and they are rarely interested in "facts".

1631 days ago


KD Lang, one of the most talented and prolific country singers of all time, came out years and years ago and it does her a disservice for someone many people don't even know to claim that she is the "fist country artist to ever come out"

It's wonderful that Chely has the courage to make this announcement in what can be a homophobic industry but the combination of a flagging career, new book and CD launch all happening at the same time as her coming out, kind of looks like just public

1631 days ago


I waited a week for this??? What a letdown. The "Hype Police" need to issue a citation for the pre-announcement publicity campaign generated by this non-news.

1631 days ago

goofball wow, this woman will stop at nothing to promote herself....her calculated support of the military is a scam to only further her own career, then she starts a charity that is supposed to give music instruments to kids but is truly yet another vehicle to further her career and now she is using her sexuality to further her career to the gay and lesbian audience that she is now going after. She's a poser and so easy to see that. Too bad.

1631 days ago


You have been fooled. It's Shakira!

1631 days ago


What amazes me the most about this story is all of the insensitive, pompous comments posted by all of these oh so wonderful readers. So you haven't heard of Chely Wright? Well, obviously somebody has or she wouldn't be on here taking up space, now would she? I'm not a country music fan, but I do vaguely recall hearing her name a few years back, and besides, can anyone know all of the known and lesser known names of any one particular genre? Uh, no! So here's a message to all of the "hipsters" reading this: IF YOU DON'T HAVE ANYTHING GOOD TO SAY SHUT UP!

1631 days ago

Sir Dicks-A-Lot    

Dis girl be too fine to be a lesbodesian. Dis a publisty stunt, fool! Lez see if she still think she gay after she get a bootyfull of my anaconda. Ya heard?

1631 days ago


This is NOT a news story in Nashville. Everyone already knew this for years. Does anyone find it suspect that Chely has had ONE hit in 11 years? Going to People Magazine is a way for her to get her name out there, at a time when she is putting out a CD (after many other failed attempts at reclaiming her "stardom").

1631 days ago


I used to listen to a lot of country music in the 90's. Chely Wright was a very successful very beautiful, dark-haired musician who had a n awesome career- than just kind of disappeared.I've read that she has written a memoir and is planning a comeback in country music. Good luck to her- judging by some of the crass uncalled-for comments here, she's going to need lots of luck.Sad, really, why anyone cares enough about a celeb's private sex life to make such negative comments....

1630 days ago


First mainstream country artist to come out? Clearly no one has heard of KD Lang.

1630 days ago


I know of 2 of her songs, shut up and drive and single white female. I think if she is gay that is her business and if she is proud of that then fine that is her right to be however that is something she should have kept private. Most stars or celebrity's want to keep their private lives out of the spotlight unless they crave the attention or becuase it makes them even more money especially when it creates a buzz with her new cd and book coming out. Look at Ricky Martin for example he came out to say he was gay after dropping out of the music scene for a long time especially after pics of him with another dude (both in speedo's) surfaced, I didn't care then and still don't. Point is we all have issues in some way, I'm not gay but I think this gives a stereo type of stars who are becuase they come out to make money probably in most cases and it has nothing to do with them being proud of it, if the time is right it will make than money, the more you have the more you want. i just wish people would love themselves more and do the right thing. I didn't buy any of her music before and still wouldn't not because she says she is gay but because her songs, style and sound didn't appeal to me in particular.

1630 days ago

Heather Reid    

I am a HUGE country music fan....Chely is my FAVORITE female country singer.

1630 days ago


That's not surprising. What is is that her ex-girlfriend and fellow country singer uber Republican lesbian Mindy Smith wasn't mentioned??

1629 days ago

Benny Barnes    

Chely's whole career has been based on a big lie. If she would have been her real self, no one would have bought her CD's. She should return all the gold albums and awards she has won.

1628 days ago


Being classmates, she wasn't calling herself a lesbian when she has sex with the girls basketball coach which led to his firing and loss of teaching license.

1628 days ago
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