In Historic Country Music Moment, TJ Osborne Is 1st Country Artist Signed to Major Label to Come Out as Gay

 T.J. Osborne and John Osborne of Brothers Osborne attend the The 54th Annual CMA Awards
Photo by John Shearer/Getty Images for CMA

Country singer T.J. Osborne, the lead vocalist of Brothers Osborne, came out as gay in an article published Wednesday by Time Magazine. The 36-year-old is the first country singer signed to a major record label to come out publicly, the outlet said.

In the plain-spoken piece titled, "T.J. Osborne is ready to tell his story," he embraces his sexuality. Osborne says he is "ready to put this behind" him. 

Osborne and his brother John, the band's guitarist, formed the band in 2012 and have gone on to win countless music awards, including four CMAs and seven Grammy nominations, according to Time.

“I’m very comfortable being gay,” he told the outlet. “I find myself being guarded for not wanting to talk about something that I personally don’t have a problem with. That feels so strange.”

Osborne, who is originally from Maryland but now resides in Nashville, Tennessee, the home of country music, acknowledged the risk of coming out with a relatively conservative fan base, noting that he is "curious" what it will be like playing in more rural towns.

Since coming out, fellow musicians have come forward to show an outpouring of support to Osborne.

"EVERY human story should be represented in country music," Cassadee Pope wrote on Twitter. "Thank you TJ for helping to make that happen. Proud of you, my friend."

"Proud to have met/shared stages with this super talented artist several times! Great article. Respect," Chris Young wrote.

Kacey Musgraves, a close friend to Osborne, also spoke out, calling him "one of the bravest" people.

Also interviewed by Time, Musgraves said that Osborne will pave the path for others to "feel invited to the country music party for the first time."

"Country music deserves a future even more honest than its past," she said.


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