Thursday, November 20, 2014
Billy Gilman, who at the age of 12 became the youngest singer to land a Top 40 hit on the country music charts with 2000's "One Voice," has come out as gay in a video message posted online today.
Gilman2In the video, Gilman shares that country singer Ty Herndon's coming out earlier today makes it easier for him to open up, but that he is still concerned about how the country music industry will react.
You know, it's difficult for me to make this video not because I'm ashamed of being a gay male artist or a gay artist or a gay person. But it's pretty silly to know that I'm ashamed of doing this knowing that because I'm in an genre and industry that is ashamed of me for being me. That said, I want to say that all of the country artists that literally I grew up with - Keith Urban, Vince, Lee Ann Rhimes and all of these wonderful friends of mine have been nothing but supportive. Not that they knew but they've just been such wonderful people. - Billy Gilman
Gilman also reveals that he's been with his partner for five months.
A group of Marines decide to liven up their field day by performing a group dance to the song “Apache” by Sugar Hill Gang — unforgettable to many because of the TV show The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.
Five years ago, country singer Ty Herndon finally recognized that he had a very important story to share."During an Anthony Robbins seminar, I realized I had an incredible story that could possibly help someone's son or daughter or grandchild's life not be as difficult as mine has been," he tells PEOPLE. "Maybe they wouldn't have to go through as much pain and suffering. It's time to tell my truth."
That "truth" is about a part of himself he has kept secret for his entire career: "I'm an out, proud and happy gay man," the Nashville artist revealed to PEOPLE during a sit-down in New York Tuesday. (Herndon appears on Entertainment Tonight Thursday at 7 p.m. ET, his first TV interview about his journey.)The revelation was many years in the making for the 51-year-old singer, who first wondered if he was gay when he was about 10 years old and then began coming out to close family members at 20."My mother probably knew I was gay before I did. I remember sitting down with her and having the conversation," recalls Herndon, noting his career path in country worried her. But, ultimately, "she was more concerned about me having a happy life. You have to be able to do that in your own skin, and [my family] has seen me struggle with being gay my whole career."