Well, the mystery of what celebrity is coming out this week has been solved…and you know, country singer Chely Wright was the last person I thought of…and I knew of the rumors, in fact, I know two people who live outside of Nashville who know her…yes, I’m less than six degrees of separation from Chely Wright…when the announcement was made that a celebrity would be coming out on May 5th, I went into obvious mode, you know: Queen Latifah, Anderson Cooper, Jodie Foster, etc. etc….
then a blog item popped up over the weekend that the celebrity coming out was a “female country singer” and one lesbian site came up with the theory it was going to be Shelby Lynne…and that’s an obvious one too, but I thought it was too boring and too obscure for People magazine…that same site then speculated on Wright…and I the light bulb went off over my head! of course!
When I got my first job in radio it was at an AM country station, and Chely Wright’s hit “Single White Female” had just peaked at number 1, her only number 1 on the country charts…I became a fan and I loved her follow-up hit “It Was”..it peaked at number 11…so I decided to buy Single White Female for myself…another gem, the track “She Went Out for Cigarettes” was written by two songwriters I’ve met…I’m not sure when I heard of the gay rumors about Wright, but it was probably about 10 years ago…Wright has never really been a huge country star, she had her hits and her modest hits…plus she had won the ACM for Top New Female Vocalist in 1994…”Shut Up and Drive” became her first charting hit in 1997…so what happened to her?
In 2001, she released two more charting singles, “Never Love You Enough” and “Jezebel”, one of my personal favorites…the video is really good too:
That video amped up the gay rumors for me!!!…in all seriousness though, Wright has does a lot more than just make music…She is the founder of the Reading, Writing, and Rhythm foundation, which stresses the importance of music education…she has also made many trips overseas with the USO…”The Bumper of my SUV” was a true story about her altercation with an angry woman who noticed a Marine Corps sticker on Wright’s SUV…that’s the last single I remember playing on radio…
With this new chapter in Chely Wright’s life, there comes a new album, Lifted Off The Ground, and a new autobiography entitled Like Me…both will be released this week…and you can scream “really?” all you want, but this is huge, especially in the world of country music…she will lose fans, but she will gain fans and tremendous support…she will be interviewed countless times, the first of which will be on The Today Show this Wednesday…5/5/2010…
I’m so proud of Chely Wright…way to go!