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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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46.

Myra    

I am a huge country fan and I have never heard of her. I laughed when the topic was brought up over whether this would hurt her career or not. Let's see, she had one hit back in 1999. I think she is doing this to further her career, this sure as heck can't hurt it. This is hilarious!

1549 days ago
47.

josslin    

Chely Wright is an awesome singer and also a wonderful person. Now is anything else really important?

1549 days ago
48.

kristy    

first major country star!!???? what about k.d. lang!! but look what happened to her. she was shunned by the country world.

1549 days ago
49.

Homogenous Milk    

Ironically, the biggest homophobes are the ones who are in the closet. Look at some of the republicans who have been outed in the last few years. Heck, rappers and singers with the most homophobic lyrics are just doing that to throw people's gaydar off.

1549 days ago
50.

Closetor    

More celebrities should come out. You'd be surprised at how many are living a lie.

1549 days ago
51.

Tony    

Career suicide, but she may be attempting to jump start what little of a career she had. The gay stuff don't go over big in country music.

1549 days ago
52.

Jenny    

Who? And I hope we're fast approaching the day that people just live their lives instead of feeling the need to "declare" their business. No one cares.

1549 days ago
53.

kalmanizer    

Well believe it or not I have ACTUALLY heard of Chely Wright and I am a fan of her Country Music. I am a HUGE fan of Country Music and believe it or not I am from Brooklyn, NY!

1549 days ago
54.

Alan    

She isn't a celebrity.We live in Nashville and she always sucked and always will.Nobody even remembers her.It's really just a publicity stunt.I'm sure liberal row will embrace her even more and try to help her career.

1549 days ago
55.

cornflakegirl    

Boring. Never heard of her either. Why all the publicity?

1549 days ago
56.

lincaware    

"major country artist"



How do you define major?

1549 days ago
57.

CoolNerd    

What's more interesting than this nobody coming out is the fact that her publicist is named Bragman. "Brag man," get it? Pretty good for a publicist!

1549 days ago
58.

Craig    

Great-Hot country singer is gay-take that middle america!

1549 days ago
59.

Lisa Cult Jame    

She is Smokin' Hot. Who is her lucky girlfriend?

1549 days ago
60.

Joe Dabb Babbalucci    

This is a travesty, an obscenity that a woman with such looks would be a lesbian. Damn! She did have a few songs that did well years ago but nothing recently. She must have been abused when younger. I cannot see why she'd become carpet munchin' lesbian. It's a shame that such a tall, beautiful woman cannot find a good man to love. Oh, well! Cie la vie. I just hope she's not lapping on some ugly **** like k.d.lang, Melissa Etheridge, Ellen, Rosie O., or Chaz! That would be truly sad!

1549 days ago
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