Country singer Ty Herndon, who began topping the country music charts nearly 20 years ago, came out publicly as a gay man a week before Thanksgiving 2014. That’s something for which country music fans, gay and straight, can be thankful. A country chart-topper in the 1990s, Herndon’s hits include “What Matters Most,” “Living In A Moment,” “It Must Be Love” and “Loved Too Much,” to mention a few. Now an out and proud gay man, with a partner of five years named Matty, Herndon is one of the LGBT artists in Nashville working to make the country music capital a safe and productive place for out musicians and LGBT followers of the popular musical genre. We spoke with Ty about coming out, his career and more in late November 2014.
WATERMARK: It’s been about five days since your coming out story ran on People.com and you were discussed on CBS’s The Talk, CNN and interviewed on Entertainment Tonight. How has the experience been so far?
TY HERNDON: I feel so incredibly blessed. I have struggled with being gay my entire career and life. Of course, I’ve had so much support from my friends and close family that supported me, that knew I was gay. But it’s been so freeing for the fans to know; the fans in country music, especially. They have really been supportive and awesome. There are always going to be the naysayers and we’ve had a few of those. 99% of the feedback from the fans and in Nashville has been incredibly supportive. It’s blown my mind, to be honest with you. I feel extremely happy. And I feel extremely excited about the future because, really, at the end of the day I just want to be authentic and continue to make great music. That’s what I was what put on this planet to do, that’s my gift. I’m singing better than I ever have. There’s lots of music coming in the new year. That really makes me happy.
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