TMZ

Our TV Shows

Got a Tip?

Call TMZ at (888) 847-9869 or Click Here

Chely Wright to Frank Ocean

Coming Out is Liberating

But Career-Damaging

7/4/2012 8:33 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

0704_getty_chely_wright
Country star Chely Wright -- the first gay country singer to come out of the closet -- tells TMZ, she was moved to tears when she read Frank Ocean's declaration that he's gay (or bi), but she says freedom comes at high cost.
 
Chely says, "I can't think of a better way for Frank to celebrate Independence Day.  It's spectular."
 
But Chely also says she realizes many country and hip hop artists and fans have an intolerance toward gays, and it certainly has had an impact on her career.
 
She says her record sales have dropped to 1/3 of what they were before she revealed in 2010 that she's a lesbian. She also said that a number of venues have made her persona non grata, because they fear fans will boycott her performances.
 
Chely also notes that no other country star has come out of the closet since she did, but says both she and Frank are forging a path that will eventually allow people to live their lives openly and without shame.

So we gotta ask ...

132 COMMENTS

No Avatar
1.

PinkySwayers    

Sorry, but there are many, many Americans who just don't buy into the "we're born this way" proclamation.

749 days ago
2.

scoopie    

career damaging? i never heard of her before the coming out

749 days ago
3.

DaveT    

Pretty lame if you stop buying someone's music when you learn they're gay.
..."I really loved your music but now I know you're gay so I don't like it anymore"...:D
Good on her, there is intolerance of gay people in the country music world, can't be easy for her to have gone public about it, or to endure the rejection she undoubtedly experiences.
Brave woman.

749 days ago
4.

Melissa    

sad sad sad world.

749 days ago
5.

b    

Chely was never as popular as she thought she was. Most people in the country music had never heard of her and the ones that have heard her songs were not impressed, it has nothing to do with her being gay.

749 days ago
6.

miss tia    

uh, has she ever heard of kd lang?? i never even heard of this chick....she's just fishing for publicity....

749 days ago
7.

Truth    

UMM, YEA... MAYBE HER ALBUMS JUST SUUUCCCKKED!!! AT LEAST THAT EXPLAINS WHY 98.9% OF HETEROSEXUAL ARTISTS SALES FLOP... JUST SAYIN. #TRUTH!!

749 days ago
8.

Tammy    

If these people came out BEFORE they got big, then the 1/3 of sales she's getting now would be the 100% from the start because only people who are okay with her being a lesbian would buy her records. She should look at it as having become rich by lying to 2/3 of the people who bought her records and then she should understand her current sales as people don't generally support liars.

749 days ago
9.

Lola    

Peformers are basically selling the fantasy of sex. They kill the fantasy for heterosexuals when they "come out." They'll have to sell to their same-kind market. It's real life. You can't sell an image that doesn't fit with what the buyer has in mind. Nobody looks at Rock Hudson the same anymore, after finding out he was not a lover of women, like everyone fantasized. Now everyone can fantasize him in the arms of a man, and that's not sexy to most of the world.

749 days ago
10.

Lauren    

ugggg, please do NOT insult our fellow human's sense of truth, by acting like a LOT of humans are not racist and homophobic. it is one thing to be hurt by other's ignorance, but to then deny that it is REAL is even crueler.

as a white hetero I have heard MANNNNY people very loudly articulate their disgust in both. given they have their god given teeth I am sure they ONLY speak that freely around the people they assume wont slug them.

we are ALL unique and anyone who wants to discriminate on the basis of Differences only SCREAMS how truly ignorant they are...well, to what the human race IS.

I do not care who you love or the color of your skin, I applaud anyone having the courage to own who they are. They are paving the future for others to stand on their wings.

749 days ago
11.

MISSA    

It's so sad that this is how people are treating others who come out as being gay or different. I don't understand what the big deal is; other people's sexuality in no way affects you personally. Why can't people be allowed to love who they love, marry who they love. How would straight people feel if they were told that they couldn’t marry the man or woman they love, they would be very upset. So when people say homosexuality is bad or should be banned they need to think about how those gay people feel when they are told they cannot marry the person they are in love with and want to spend the rest of their lives with. I SUPPORT GAY MARRAIGE. everyone should have the choice to be with and marry the people they love no matter if it is of someone of the same gender or different race everyone deserves happiness, and it’s not up to anyone to decide otherwise!

749 days ago
12.

탑 TOP    

Chely Wright? Girl... who is u tho?


Melissa Etheridge, KD Lang, Janis Joplin, Indigo Girls, Michael Stripe (R.E.M.), Freddie Mercury <<<< to name a few.

Good for Frank Ocean. I don't consider this coming out though...

749 days ago
13.

gamepro    

why should it matter what gender you like as long as its good music and that they dont bother people with it

749 days ago
14.

puhleeeese    

Um....Chely, you haven't had a hit song in 15 years, so I'm kind of wondering how much worse your career could have gotten.

749 days ago
15.

Bridget    

I never heard of her. So I don't know if it is because she came out that her album sales dropped. Carrie Underwood came out in support of gay marriage recently. If her album sales plummet then that would be interesting.

749 days ago
| 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | Most Recent | Next 15 Comments

Around The Web