Ty Herndon says Nashville is 'moving forward at a great pace'

Thu. December 4, 2014 9:57 AM by GoPride.com News Staff

Country music star overwhelmed by support after coming out

Ty Herndon, who came out in an interview with People on Nov. 20, says he feels incredibly blessed by the support of fans and the Nashville music community.

"I have struggled with being gay my entire career and life," Herndon told ChicagoPride.com in an interview shortly after he officially came out. "Of course, I've had so much support from my friends and close family that supported me, that knew I was gay. But it's been so freeing for the fans to know; the fans in country music, especially. They have really been supportive and awesome."

The 52-year-old country singer said country music and the atmosphere in Nashville is changing.

"I think country music's growing up," Herndon said. "Nashville, in general, is growing up a lot now. Country is so big now, they're on the world stage. If you're going to be on the world stage, you have to be able to have a different mentality."

"I credit Nashville a lot now. They're moving forward at a great pace," he added. 

Herndon is currently on tour with Andy Griggs and Jamie O'Neal. On November 24, Herndon returned to Nashville to perform at the legendary Ryman Auditorium as part of Charlie Daniels' Christmas 4 Kids benefit.

"I was nervous walking into it," Herndon told ChicagoPride.com. "To my knowledge, no openly gay man has ever walked on the Ryman stage and performed."

Shortly after Herndon's Nov. 20 announcement, 26-year-old country music artist Billy Gilman came out, making him the fourth openly gay country music artist after Herndon, Chely Wright, who came out in 2010, and Chicago's Steve Grand ("All-American Boy").

Read Gregg Shapiro's full interview with Ty Herndon on ChicagoPride.com