Country music singer Richell Rene “Chely” Wright has come out. In an interview with People.com, the “Shut Up and Drive” singer revealed her sexual preference, saying that she had previously resisted the urge to publicly address her homosexuality because she didn’t want to be the first country star to do so.
“There had never, ever been a country music artist who had acknowledged his or her homosexuality,” she told the magazine in an article published Monday (May 3). “I wasn’t going to be the first” — but she changed her mind.
“Nothing in my life has been more magical than the moment I decided to come out,” she said.
Wright, 39, said she’d kept her sexuality from the public in order to protect her career as a musician. “I don’t have a memory in my life that doesn’t include the dream of making music,” the singer explained. “I hid everything for my music.”
Wright will release her memoir, “Like Me,” and her new album, Lifted Off the Ground, on Tuesday. Additionally, the singer will appear on the “Today” show on Wednesday to discuss her new endeavors and further elaborate on her personal journey.
Wright’s first album, Woman in the Moon, debuted in 1994. She has won multiple awards, including several from the Academy of Country Music and the Country Music Association. Lifted Off the Ground is Wright’s first album of all-new material in five years.