Billy Gilman Reveals He’s Gay

One Voice ProductionsBilly Gilman has come out as gay.  The 26-year-old singer made the announcement via a YouTube post on Thursday, the same day his friend and fellow country artist, Ty Herndon, revealed he was gay.

“It’s taken me a good many weeks to figure out how I was to approach this video that you’re watching right now,” Gilman begins the video. “But today, actually, a fellow country artist and friend made it easier for me to make this video. And I wanted my fans, who have stuck by me for many, many years, to know.”

Gilman went on to explain that he decided to come out after he was spotted with his partner by a local reporter.

“We filmed a video for the single ‘Say You Will’ in Rhode Island and was getting ready to do an interview with a reporter, locally,” he recalls. “And coincidentally I ran into this reporter at a local fall festival with my partner, someone who I am happily now sharing my life with.”

“This reporter took a picture of us and it was in that moment that I knew that I’d rather it be from me, than you reading it somewhere else, and probably filled with not truth,” he adds.

Gilman also expressed his displeasure at the Nashville establishment, which he claims discriminates against gay artists.

“Being a gay male country artist is not the best thing,” he says, explaining, “You know, if people don’t like your music, that’s one thing. But after having sold over five million records and having a wonderful life in the music industry, I knew something was wrong when no major label wanted to sit down and have a meeting and listen to the new stuff.”

Gilman, however, had nothing but praise for his fellow artists.

“I want to say that all of the country artists that literally I grew up in front of, Keith Urban, Vince [Gill] and LeAnn Rimes and all of these wonderful friends of mine, have been nothing but supportive,” he insists. “Not that they knew, but they have been such wonderful people.”

“So I thank you for your support,” he concluded, noting, “I know some people won’t agree with this. And that’s OK. To each his own. But I felt it was time for me to be honest and to be truthful. I love you all and from the bottom of my heart, I thank you.”


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Miranda Lambert Raises $66,000 for Rescue Dogs

Image Courtesy Becky FlukeMiranda Lambert’s custom Ram Laramie Longhorn truck helped raise nearly $66,000 for her MuttNation Foundation. The truck itself netted just shy of $55,000 in an online auction, with the remaining $11,000 coming from signed guitars, CD’s and 2015 concert tickets.

“I’m happy to see everyone come together to raise so much money for MuttNation Foundation, which is so close to my heart,” Miranda says. “I appreciate Ram for donating the truck to me to auction off and for making this all possible. So many dogs will have happier holidays and lives thanks to this generosity.”

In the past seven years, Miranda’s charity has raised more than two million dollars to help make life better for animals. So far, Miranda herself has adopted seven dogs.

 
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Ty Herndon Comes Out to “Entertainment Tonight”

Valeisha Kelly-PedigoAfter years of speculation about his sexuality, Ty Herndon officially went on the record, acknowledging that he’s gay in an interview with Entertainment Tonight on Thursday. “I went to great lengths to cover up that fact to be a country star,” Ty says, “and today I get to tell the world that I’m an out, proud and happy gay man.”

“I have an awesome relationship that I’ve been in for a good number of years,” he says, “[I] love him very much and he loves me.” Ty even went on to say he hopes a proposal from his partner of five years might follow his public revelation.

Rumors about his orientation date back to a 1995 incident where an undercover male police officer accused the country singer of exposing himself in a park. Ty says he doesn’t remember much about the episode.

“I wish I had really great recall or memory about that. I think I had been up for like six days doing drugs. The night and the day was really a huge blur for me,” he recalls.

Ty also reveals that both his wives knew about his homosexuality. “I had a lot of people around me that I trusted at a time and I was like, ‘Hey, you know this about me but the world doesn’t. So I’m gonna need to call on your services for a little while.’ It was unfortunate that I had to do that, but I felt that’s what I had to do to have my career.”

In the nineties, Ty scored three number ones with “It Must Be Love,” “Living in a Moment” and “What Mattered Most.” His last top 40 country hit was 2001’s “Heather’s Wall,” which went to number 37.

The 52-year-old says this month’s CMA Awards give him hope that country music is becoming more accepting of the LGBT community. “Kacey Musgraves won Song of the Year for “’Follow Your Arrow’…and two amazing songwriters that happened to be gay wrote that song.” His most recent CD is 2013’s Lies I Told Myself.


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Country Star Trivia

Comstock/ThinkstockWhen did Kenny Chesney first appear on the Billboard Country Singles chart? ANSWER:  Kenny went to #59 with “Whatever It Takes” in 1994.



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Grammy Foundation Offers Fans Chance to Get Closer to Miranda, Carrie & Taylor

Image Courtesy Sony Music NashvilleIf you’d like to get up close and personal with Miranda Lambert, Carrie Underwood, Taylor Swift or The Band Perry, now is your chance. You can bid on one-of-a-kind experiences with the superstars from now through December 10 at CharityBuzz.com.

Carrie will treat the winner of her package to a backstage tour of the Grand Ole Opry before her concert, while Taylor’s top bidder will be invited to the pre-show party. A one-on-one Skype session with Hunter Hayes is also up for grabs.

The second annual holiday auction helps the Grammy Foundation and MusiCares pay for educational programs and help members of the music community who’ve fallen on hard times.


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Kenny Chesney Relives the Most Surprising Show of His Career

Image Courtesy Sony Music NashvilleKenny Chesney won’t head out on The Big Revival Tour until next year, but he gave fans a foretaste with his free Flora-Bama-Jama show back in August. Two years ago, he did a similar thing, offering his fans a preview of his Brothers of the Sun Tour, with a beachside show on an outdoor stage that turned out to be one of the most memorable of his career.

“The Wildwood, New Jersey show a couple years ago was the most — surprised me a lot,” he recalls. “The connection we had with that audience was unbelievable. Not that — that didn’t surprise me. It was just that in that environment that it would be so wonderful.”

For Kenny, it solidified the notion of his very favorite place to perform his music — the beach.

“It was a learning experience for me, because I love that environment,” he confesses. ” If I could do every show, every show that I do from now on and smell the ocean, that would be really great. And smell fried food and smell spilled beer and see people out there really loving that atmosphere, ’cause it’s the atmosphere that I really love. When I’m busy on the road, and when I’m out there in the middle of the grind, that’s what I think about. So, I loved playing out there in Wildwood, New Jersey that night.”

Fans who can’t wait to see Kenny’s new tour next year can relive the memories on the Internet. The Wildwood, New Jersey show is available on YouTube, while the Flora-Bama-Jama is streaming at CMT.com.



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Nashville Notes

Burke/Triolo Productions/ThinkstockThe CMA Foundation will present Kix Brooks with its first-ever Humanitarian Award at a ceremony in January of next year.

Joe Nichols sings his hit “Hard To Be Cool” live from Murray State University this Saturday at 11 a.m. E.T. on CMT Hot 20 Countdown, celebrating the school’s win in the “Hot County College Town” sweepstakes.

Trisha Yearwood recently performed an improv rendition of “She’s Got Leg Hair Like A Boy” to help a female deejay who resolved not to shave her legs to raise money for No Shave November for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.



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Garth’s Man Against Machine Debuts at #1 on Country Chart, #4 on Billboard 200

Image Courtesy Sony Music/Pearl RecordsGarth Brooks debuts at number one on the Top Country Albums chart this week, selling 130,000 copies of his first new studio album in 13 years. Man Against Machine is his fourteenth collection to bow atop the country charts. Garth’s last studio effort predates the beginning of the digital age; Scarecrow moved 466,000 units in 2001, enough to also claim bragging rights on the all-genre chart.

This time, Garth wasn’t able to best an impressive third-week showing for Taylor Swift‘s 1989, which more than doubled his numbers with 312,000 buys to land at number one on the Billboard 200. New CD’s from Foo Fighters and Pink Floyd placed Garth at number 4 on the overall chart.

If Garth’s numbers seem lackluster, his own GhostTunes may be to blame. That’s the only place Man Against Machine is available digitally, and Billboard says the site didn’t report its downloads to SoundScan.


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“Nashville” Recap: “You’re Lookin’ at Country”

Image Courtesy Bob D’Amico/ABC

Nashville‘s version of the CMA Awards aired Wednesday night, but the action was mostly in the audience and backstage.

Rayna Jaymes swept the night with six wins, but she didn’t thank her fiancé, Luke Wheeler, whom she beat out in four of those categories. Since they had a small fight about signing a prenuptial agreement on the way to the awards show, Rayna’s slight led Luke to down doubles throughout the night.  Those drinks led to a showdown in the bathroom backstage, where Luke told Rayna she wouldn’t have this success if not for the press she got off their engagement. Rayna finally thanked Luke when she won Entertainer of the Year, and they made up in their bedroom after the show. However, Rayna got a text from her ex, Deacon Claybourne, so there may still be some heat left in that flame.

Juliette Barnes was feeling very insecure about only having one nomination at the CMA Awards. Sitting with her baby daddy, Avery Barkley, and his judgmental father didn’t help the situation. While Avery’s dad came down hard on Juliette’s background, Avery ended up standing up to him. While reassuring each other that they wouldn’t turn into their screwed-up parents, Juliette told Avery they are expecting a baby girl. Avery took Juliette home after the show, but he didn’t give in to Juliette’s subtle invitation to stay the night.

Gunnar Scott and Zoey Dalton got into a big fight when Gunnar’s son, Micah, went missing at the CMA Awards ceremony. As Gunnar’s named was called as the winner in the Song of the Year category for writing “Ball and Chain,” he was out on the concourse looking for his son. Once Gunnar found Micah, he blamed Zoey for not watching the boy closely enough, and walked off. At the end of the episode, Zoey broke up with Gunnar, saying she didn’t want to make him choose between her and his son.

Layla Grant was lampooned at the CMA Awards for her ditzy image, created by the producers of her reality show with closeted husband/country star Will Lexington. In the end, Will agreed to hold Layla and comfort her after she got upset about all the negative attention.

New Artist of the Year winner Sadie Stone, played by Laura Benanti, got an unwelcome text from her ex-boyfriend, who inspired her latest hit, “You Can’t Stop Me.” You can download Laura’s recording of that song now at iTunes.

Nashville returns with a Christmas-themed episode December 3 at 10 p.m. ET, on ABC.

 
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Sam Hunt and Chase Rice Book Monday Night Dates with Late Night

Image Courtesy David McClister/UMGBoth Sam Hunt and Chase Rice have Monday night dates with late night in the weeks to come.

Sam performs his new single “Take Your Time,” the follow-up to his chart-topping “Leave the Night On” on the Late Show with David Letterman on November 24. He’s currently looking at adding dates to his Lipstick Graffiti Tour, as the first round of shows sold out in most cities.

The following Monday, December 1, Chase will do two songs on Jimmy Kimmel Live! — his top five hit “Ready Set Roll” plus his new tune “Gonna Wanna Tonight.” He’ll have at least 16 sold out solo shows under his belt by the time he joins Kenny Chesney for his Big Revival Tour next year.

Both shows air at 11:35 p.m. ET, with Kimmel on ABC and Letterman on CBS.


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