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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

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16.

Dohi    

I'm sure Frank cares more about his sanity than a career.

758 days ago
17.

jackmama311    

spectular??? more of that awesome TMZ spelling,

758 days ago
18.

Who Knew    

Okay Harvey we know you have an position to push but enough gay stuff, that's not why most of us come to this sight. If you want start a pro gay rights sight or an equal rights sight, great. This is starting to remind me of an entertainer that wants to push their political beliefs on me just because I like the way they make music.

758 days ago
19.

Phil Mcl    

Why do you think gays changed their strategy when it comes to voting on gay issues. When they let the PEOPLE vote on their issues like in California and Colorado where the people are liberal they lost overwhelming. That is why in New York they did not let the people vote on gay marriage they would have gotten crushed. So they push it threw the legislative branch. The liberal news spins and backs the gay issues when the PEOPLE do not. For some reason the media and are politicians fold to the pressure from the gay pressure groups. And the people are stupid they don't get together and vote these politicians out. Like in New York. All the people in New York for some reason will not hold these politicians accountable in Nov. They will still vote the in***bents back in,in Nov. because they will vote Democratic no matter what. Even though the polls showed the people of new York were over 70% against gay marriage.

758 days ago
20.

Who Knew    

Look what happened to the Dixie Chicks when they used their music platform to push political crap. How'd that work out for them.

758 days ago
21.

Truth    

BESIDES THE FACT THE MUSIC INDUSTRY HAS CUT BACK SINCE 2001 AND MOST NOTICEABLE SINCE 2005 WHEN ONLINE DOWNLOADING BEGAN. REDUCTIONS IN PROMO AND STUDIO BUDGETS, MASSIVE DECLINE IN CD SALES, INCREASE IN FREE DOWNLOADING, GENERAL ECONOMIC RECESSION OVER THE LAST 5 YRS, DECLINING CONCERT SALES, ETC. YA THINK THOSE FACTORS MIGHT ALSO CONTRIBUTE TO LOWER ALBUM SALES? IMMA JUST SAYIN... OH, YEA... LIKE I SAID - HER CD'S SUCKED! #TRUTH!!

758 days ago
22.

CollegeGirl1887    

The way Frank Ocean came out was very strategic. His Orange tour is basically sold out all over the U.S. and Canada and his true fans have waited sooo long for his new album he should have no worries about his cash flow he also just gained a broader fan base- The Gays. Even if you aren't a Frank fan his courageousness is enough to make one want to pick up his album out of curiosity so in my eyes it was a good move!

758 days ago
23.

Dale    

The first? Have we forgotten KD Lang?

758 days ago
24.

Bruno    

Chely Wrights career was over long before she came out. It's sad that she feels she needs to blame it on her announcement. Doing that has the potential to deter others from living openly.

758 days ago
25.

bdj    

I think Chely is blaming her crappy sales on this, but it's really that she hasn't done anything worth listening to in over a decade. She vaporized from the scene LONG before she came out. Actually, coming out gave her more press than she has had in forever.

758 days ago
26.

Vernon P. Alarcon    

couldn't her two mamas spell shelly correctly at the hospital?

758 days ago
27.

LCS27    

Blake Shelton, help her going out too!!

758 days ago
28.

J    

never heard of her before - it didn't hurt kd lang or melissa etheridge being gay - just sayin'.

758 days ago
29.

AlwaysOnTimeB    

It's not just the Country and Hip Hop genres that aren't accepting. It's also Pop, just ask Clay Aiken how his career is coming along.

758 days ago
30.

AlwaysOnTimeB    

Forgot to mention, it didn't hurt Elton John's career either, but that's because he never actually said "I'm gay" in the beginning of his career. Everyone knew it, but no one really cared.

758 days ago
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