Chely Wright acknowledged her homosexuality during an interview scheduled to appear in the People magazine issue hitting newsstands Friday (May 7).
"There had never, ever been a country music artist who had acknowledged his or her homosexuality," she said in an interview excerpt that appeared Monday (May 3) on People.com. "I wasn't going to be the first."
Raised in rural Kansas, the 39-year-old singer-songwriter said she didn't feel as though she could be honest about her sexuality during her youth or after embarking on a country music career.
"I hid everything for my music," she told the magazine. She also said, "Nothing in my life has been more magical than the moment I decided to come out."
Wright's announcement coincides with Tuesday's (May 4) release of a new album, Lifted Off the Ground, and the publication of her memoir, Like Me. The new album was produced by Rodney Crowell.
Wright charted her first single, "He's a Good Ole Boy," in 1994. She was named the Academy of Country Music's best new female vocalist in 1995. Her only Top 10 single on Billboard's country airplay chart is "Single White Female," which hit No. 1 in 1999. Her 2004 single, "The Bumper of My SUV," debuted at No. 1 on Billboard's country singles sales chart, but the single peaked at No. 35 on the airplay chart.
Wright is scheduled to appear Wednesday (May 5) on NBC's Today.