Out & Proud Country Music Star Chely Wright will be performing with fellow star Steve Grand at the PrideFest Closing Concert on June 29th at the Seattle Center. Get your ticket here.
ED: What does it mean to you to be an “Out and Proud” Country music star?
CW: Well, to me personally, it means everything. Being “sort of out” to a few friends and a couple of family members was just not enough. Not enough on a personal level and not enough on an advocacy level. One can’t be a part of the equality movement from the sidelines.
ED: Do you think it is harder to be out as a Country artist compared to a Rock or Pop artist?
CW: Interesting question. I think being the “first” of anything is a challenge, so my experience in coming out as the first commercial country music artist has certainly been uncharted territory, to say the least. But you know, I had a journalist say to me a few months ago that “it’s so much easier for pop stars… there are a bunch of “out” pop stars.” I disagreed with this journalist. Although there are more OUT pop stars than in Country Music, when you think about it… based on the number of pop artists around the world, there aren’t that many. Elton, Melissa, Adam Lambert, Ricky Martin and a few more in recent years, right? I wouldn’t call that a LOT of Out pop artists. I think it’s hard for ANYONE, in any industry or line of work, to come out. It’s the way you make your living and the stakes are as high for coming out– whether you’re a Country Music artists, a Pop Music artist, an accountant or a high school math teacher.
ED: Which Pride event has been your favorite and why?
CW: I could never pick a favorite. Honestly, I couldn’t begin to quantize the experience of each show and event.
ED: June 16th marked 15 years since you performed ‘Single White Female’ on Another World. Would you do it again now?
CW: Does it really? Ha! Of course I would.
ED: Are you working on any new material? Will we hear it when you perform in Seattle?
CW: I am. I am going to make a new record this year. Slated to be out in 2015.
ED: If you could perform with any musician?
CW: Off the top of my head, David Gray.
ED: Do you have a message you would like to put out there for LGBTQ youth?
CW: The thing I’d say to all LGBT youth: Don’t allow anyone to tell you that you cannot have the faith practice what you seek. And, in regards to coming out, do it when YOU feel safe and able.