5 Pride moments that will go down in country music history

by CMT.com staff

20 hours ago

The country music genre has experienced a positive shift in the last few years and has become a safer place for the LGBTQ + community. Notable names within the landscape such as Chely Wright,, Ty Herndon,, Brooke Eden,, TJ OsborneCMT’s very own Cody Alanand several have used their voices to advocate for queer musicians and fans.

Allies have used their platforms and the power of music to also push for unity and acceptance along with LGBTQ + friends.

In honor of Pride Month, CMT looks back on crucial moments that have fostered the knowledge and acceptance of queer artists in country music over the past few years.

Country proud

Country Proud, presented by Nash News and the RNBW Queer Music Collective in collaboration with CMA and CMT, made history this month as the first LGBTQ + event to be officially unveiled as part of the CMA Fest.

The country music queer community filled Assembly Food Hall on Nashville’s Lower Broad for hours, while members of the genre’s LGBTQ + community entertained hundreds of fans.

Singer Steff Mahan said she was preparing to leave Nashville when she felt avoided because of her sexuality. A friend urged her to keep saying, “Girl, God does not give a bird wings if he does not want it to fly.”

“I’m not rich,” she explained. “I’m not famous. But I’m allowed to do what I love, and I’m allowed to do it with amazing people, and that’s what matters.”

Tonight’s lineup included Sonia Leigh, Gina Venier, Jessica Rose, Chris Housman, Charlie Worsham, Kristen Merlin, Harper Grae, Kentucky Gentlemen, Zoe Cummins, Adam Mac, Breann Young, Maia Sharp, Shelly Fairchild and Lila McCann.

It warmed Hunter Kelly’s heart to see the support that country music fans poured into that queer-country community at an official CMA Fest event. Kelly hosts Proud Radio on Apple Music Country.

“It’s a big milestone for this gay kid who grew up going to the Fan Fair in the ’90s, but who has never seen myself reflected on stage before now,” he said. “The talent that comes out of this scene along with communities like Black Opry gives country music the creative shot at the tribe it needs.”

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Miranda Lambert writes “Y’all Means All” for “Queer Eye”

Miranda Lambert took a bold step as she celebrated Texas and the LGBTQ community with her song “Y’all Means All,” which she recorded for the new “Queer Eye” season late last year.

The show is set in Lambert’s home state of Texas, and Lambert has long supported the LGBT community. Her brother Luke is gay, and she told Pride Source in 2019 that she supports him “100 percent in whatever he does.”

“He is a brilliant individual, the most amazing person, and just so genuine,” she said.

She shared a photo on her social party of herself and her husband Brendan McLoughlin and Luke and his husband at New York City’s Pride Parade, saying she cried “because it was such a big moment.”

“I see now when I talk about it why it’s a big moment for other people: because it was also a big moment for us,” she told Pride. “So I’m just glad he was okay with it and we could share that moment and support each other, no matter what we do or who we are.”

Lily Rose receives GLADD Award

CMT’S Next Women of Country Member, Lily Rose was recognized at the 33rd annual GLAAD Media Awards. Rose became the first country musician ever to accept the title of Outstanding Breakthrough Music Artist. The prestigious award honors Rose’s critically acclaimed debut collection ‘Stronger than I am“And her work in the LGBTQ + community.

“It was a dream come true and a really big bucket list thing,” Rose told CMT. “I had to accept my award for unique breakthrough for music artist and I am just humble. It was a great victory for country music to be allowed to do that, ”she added with gratitude.

Rose has proven to be a country mainstay with her infectious sound, but she has also become a pioneer in the genre of fearlessly being herself and a passionate pride advocate. She went on to articulate her primary goal, crediting notable names who have knocked down barriers in front of her.

“Ellen, Shane McAnally, and such some people across entertainment have really gone so people like me can run, ”Rose said. “My goal is that kids can just sprint and have all the precise options and just be treated with kindness. When I meet fans, especially kids navigating that come out, I can feel it [ the difference she’s making.] Children should not come out and should be able to be exactly as they are. It’s really cool that they might have someone to look up to, ”she added.

Trisha Yearwood and Brooke Eden deliver “She’s In Love With The Girl” at the Grand Ole Opry

In May 2021, Brooke Eden and partner Hilary Hoover made the decision to take a step forward in their romantic relationship and get engaged. Nearly a month later, Eden received a phone call from an LGBTQ + ally and friend Trisha Yearwood with a fearless idea. Yearwood told Eden that members of the LGBTQ + community tend to change the lyrics to her 1991 classic, “She is in love with the boy“To suit their sexual preferences. Therefore, the hitmaker wanted to do the same and change the track top for their performance on June 25 at the Grand Ole Opry.

The rendering, personalized to fit the fairy tale of Eden with his fiancée, went down in the history of Opry as love and a sense of unity filled the sacred place. The overtly gay artist took the lead on “She’s In Love With The Girl” until the legend joined the second verse. The powerful performance touched not only fans sitting in church-like pews, but also those watching from home. The collaboration served as a positive shift in the right direction for the country music genre, assuring the queer musicians that they would always be welcomed on the Opry stage.

“You just got engaged to a good friend of mine, Hilary, who’s here somewhere,” Yearwood said before breaking out as a son. “Love is love. You can’t just say it. You have to mean it. So I think we should [sing] this song for you tonight because she’s in love with the girl. I’m in love with the boy. Let’s just sing it for everyone. “

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TJ Osborne calls for inclusivity at CMA Awards and performs with “Younger Me”

In February 2021, TJ Osborne confidently came out of the closet and made history as the first openly gay country artist to sign a major label contract. Since revealing his authentic self, the lead vocalist has become a pioneer and has used the power of music to encourage inclusiveness within the genre.

The multi-platinum musician struck at the 55th annual CMA Awards as he performed his vulnerable number “Younger me“And reminded members of the LGBTQ + community that they have a place in country music.

“When I was up here on this stage, there were so many things, there were so many obstacles for me. And I always felt, honestly, as if it would never be possible because of my sexuality to be here. And I just wanted, I wish my kid could see me now, ”he said before delivering the letter-like number.

The uplifting anthem followed the release of Brother Osbornes critically acclaimed album from 2020, “Skeletons. “Through the wisdom ballad, Osborne conveys the struggles he faced while discovering his sexuality as a child.

Osborne scored his first GRAMMY Award with “Younger me“Together with his brother and his partner Abi Ventura present.

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