Unwittingly exemplifying the generational differences between them, country music performers Ty Herndon and Billy Gilman both came out November 20. One chose to coordinate a formal media rollout via national, traditional outlets People Magazine and Entertainment Tonight. The other uploaded a heartfelt, spur-of-the-moment video onto YouTube.
According to Saving Country Music (which includes an extensive Herndon personal/professional history), the television newsmagazine Entertainment Tonight teased the announcement Wednesday and then accidentally identified Herndon on its website Thursday. People Magazine then broke the story Thursday afternoon.
Herndon debuted nationally in 1995 with a #1, "What Mattered Most," the first in a string of hit songs that ended in 1999 with "Hands of a Working Man." Rumors of his unexpressed homosexuality plagued him from nearly the very beginning of his national career, notably when he allegedly exposed himself to an undercover police officer in Texas in 1995.
Gilman was just 11 years old when his first single, "One Voice" hit the country Top 20. Though he never experienced much success on the radio, his One Voice album sold 2 million copies and two subsequent releases each sold 500,000.
Here's a clip from Herndon's interview with Entertainment Tonight.
Watch the video Billy Gilman posted here.
Also: isn't it sweet to see Chely Wright play something of a matriarch during all of this …
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