Country music systematically removed all Chely Wright songs from country radio playlists and excluded her from all future Nashville activities. Due to their selective amnesia (forgot her number), NO-body called, NO paying gigs, NO national tours, NO nothing! Country music would rather you (just stayed in the closet) or as Chely’s song states, “Shut Up and Drive”...
(PJ) don’t care about your political views and opinions. It’s your Constitutional right and freedom of choice! But on MY blog, it’s ALL about a “performer’s music” and something utopian called “musical integrity!”
(Chely Wright’s) voice and songs, is who she is. It’s her imagery and integrity in ethical jeopardy. She needs to be heard! It’s her f**kin’ right! If you disagree with her views and lifestyle decisions; then take your (money) somewhere else. Don’t tell Chely to “Shut Up & Stay in the Closet!”
As far as acceptance of LGBTQ musicians in today’s pop culture; Country music has always been late to the party, compare to it’s hipper contemporary counterparts. Ellen DeGeneres came out in 1997. Sir Elton John, George Michaels, Boy George, Melissa Etheridge, Ricky Martin, and others, are accepted as world-wide celebrity stars...
FORT WORTH, TX — Tonight, one of my all-time favorite singer; whose personal alternative lifestyle views, overshadows one of the sweetest voices in any musical genre, is scheduled to play in a town that’s known as “America’s most conservative urban bastion” and certainly against the fundamental beliefs she’s fought gallantly for, much to her detriment.
Before Chely Wright’s outing, there were other “controversies” - Alabama’s Shelby Lynne was quietly pushed out of Nashville’s music row ... and before her, it was Canadian k.d. lang, whom was “bless your hearted” back across the border! Each performer found extraordinary creative freedoms and achieved greater success far away from Nashville! The same hubris brush-off (in 2003) afforded The (Dixie) Chicks their new voices, souls, and inspirations, away from NashVegas’ & country music’s deceitful hypocrisy...
After a long hiatus (self-imposed & ejection from Country Music) ... the resurrected Chely Wright has a renew purpose in life and a profound mandate ... Cutting all ties to Nashville, Richell Rene Wright happily resides in New York City (along with a gorgeous new wife & beautiful twins)!
Chely Wright’s divine mandate; as singer, LGBTQ activist, & philanthropist ... is to travel the US countryside, playing at any venue in any state (red or blue); preaching the gospel about LGBTQ rights through open-minded conversations, telling bad jokes, and
singing her wonderful catalog of “Chely Songs” - these tunes are from one of the best entertainers in today‘s modern music ... “it’s real, it‘s magic, it’s Chely Wright!”
FORT WORTH, TX — It’s showtime! The place is packed ... and yes, there’s a formidable LGBTQ contingent in the listening room. For (PJ) it’s been over 15 years since attending a Chely Wright show. I didn’t think this day would ever happen...
Taking the intimate stage, amongst the highly liquored crowd; the lone hatted figure (with guitar in hand) was all smiles ... wearing a tan fedora, baby blue scarf, bespectacled, and a pair of faded denim jeans anchoring an adorable set of suede ankle boots, the rebirth of “Chely Wright” is complete!
The incident in question, dated May 4, 2010, was the release of her memoir, “Like Me - Confessions of a Heartland Country Singer”... along with television / media appearances proclaiming Chely Wright as country music’s first major star “outed as lesbian”
< In (conservative) Country music circles, that’s blasphemy of the highest order (aka “defcon 1”) ... Good ole boys don’t approve of any “Brokeback Mountain” shenanigans (male or female), especially not in front of the “Almighty” & “Dixie” (confederate flag) ... “Bless your heart, you’ve forgotten we’re deep in the Bible Belt!”
You should definitely read, “Like Me” ... her daily struggles to keep “telling lies” to the outside world, and the emotional abuse the “Nashville Suits” were imposing (bullying) on her career; e.g., the forced relationship with country star Brad Paisley (and others), while maintaining her own lesbian lifestyle.
... and those righteous Chely Wright songs, stripped down, beautiful acoustic versions for your symphonic banquet. Of course she did “Shut Up & Drive” along with “Single White Female” - and my fav, the emotional bittersweet, “It Was” ... someone even yelled out “Sea of Cowboy Hats” (from her 1st album) ...and she did it!
“Hello Fort Worth!” yelled Chely, reminding everyone the last time she was in town, “Single White Female” was at the top of the charts, and she was the marquee act at Billy Bob’s Texas (1999).
The entire room was buzzing; felt like a reunion of long lost friends! Chely thanked everyone for being there, and staying with her throughout the years. And then, the ACM’s Top Female Vocalist (1995) started singing. It reminded everyone why we were there ... that gorgeous golden voice!
That person in particular is, Richell Rene Wright, better known by her stage name, “Chely Wright”... country music singer, songwriter, activist ... named Academy of Country Music’s (ACM) “Top New Female Vocalist” in 1995, charted numerous top country hits and sold over 1,500,000 units in her career ... has been M-I-A since her “outing” in 2010.