In a quaint town placed on the shoreline of Southern Maryland, two brothers would passionately write from the heart for their family band called Deuce & A Quarter. The talented musicians who found their gift early on in life are now praised worldwide for their relatable songwriting and risk-taking.
The memories of playing alongside their father in sticky dive bars flashed before their eyes when they accepted their first Academy of Country Music Award in 2016.
“We were both very emotional for many reasons,” T.J. Osborne told Trailblazers Radio with Fancy Hagood on Apple Music Country. “There was so many people who had supported us from going all the way back to Deale, Maryland. It kind of felt like we all kind of been on this ride together, and all of the fans and family members along the way were the people who kind of helped us make it to that point,” he added while recalling the career-altering moment.
Their debut E.P.,Pawn Shop featuring the chart-topping track “It Ain’t My Fault,” was their golden ticket into the country music space. Their infectious country-rock sound and vulnerable songwriting approach immediately placed them on music radars nationwide and scored them six Grammy nominations and numerous platinum-certified hits.
The brothers told Hagood that their secret songwriting recipe for success is to pull from real-life experiences and just to channel what’s on their minds.
“We want to write songs for us. I want to write songs to say what I want to say, and kind of some songs for me,” T.J. gushed. “Surprisingly, those can be the songs that actually end up being the ones that resonate the most with people.”
Listening to his inner intentions has gone beyond his songwriting, T.J. said. After years of battling with the decision to address his sexuality publicly, the hitmaker mustered up the courage to reveal his truth.
“That was a huge moment in my life and certainly life-changing in pretty much exclusively positive ways,” he shared while also confirming that his ‘coming out’ anniversary is just days away. “I’d been kind of living with these little fears all day, every day for years. I think I was also just so excited to be free of the burden.”
He continued to mention that the “fear” was deeply rooted, and he was nervous his preferences would jeopardize the Brothers Osborne music career.
“There’s so many people that rely on what you do. What involves us involves our crew or managers, labels…there’s a lot of people that are involved. I was concerned about that, how that would play out … but I knew I was ready,” he justified. “I knew I was ready myself, and I realized there was just never ever going to be this perfect moment where I jumped through this hoop and everything, I land on my feet, and it’s wonderful.”
John chimed in to clarify that he was never worried for his livelihood.
“My brother’s happiness is much more important than any dollar amount,” he stressed. Yet, the guitarist did mention that he was anxious about the hateful comments that could follow the brave statement. “I was worried about not only what people will say, but just the global conversation being a bit intense and being some sort of a controversial debated topic.”
The country star quickly stated that his “little brother” received nothing but support. “When it happened, it was nothing besides love,” said John before revealing he was pleasantly surprised by the reaction and wished he had more hope in humanity.
“When he did come out, I was ready to battle, and I realized, ‘Wow, this is amazing. This is the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen.’ I think it goes to show that no one should assume anything. I was being presumptuous of our culture,” John concluded.
When T.J. Osborne spoke his truth in a TIME interview, he immediately changed the country music landscape and became a trailblazer within the industry.
“The person you know is me,” says T.J. in an Instagram video a year ago. “I know it’s going to help my relationship with my fans, with my family, and, honestly, [with] myself.”
As promised, the singer returned to his traditional songwriting roots and pulled from his upbringing to pen the love-letter-like anthem, “Younger Me.” The pioneer took center stage at the 2021 CMA Awards to perform the poignant reminder that life gets better and to show the LGBTQ+ community that they have a place with the country music genre.
Although Brothers Osborne is contributing to history and recently received a Grammy nomination for their latest record, "Skeletons" – they told Apple Music that they still feel like “underdogs.”
“We’ve always been a little bit of an outcast in some regards,” T.J. openly confessed. “Even though we have won awards and have had a lot of success or more success than ever thought that we would, I still feel all the time that we’re just kind of these underdogs that always needs to prove ourselves.”
The brothers confirmed that they do not plan on slowing down anytime soon and are currently whipping up another album. To hear more about Brothers Osborne’s extraordinary musical journey, listen here.