Wed, Dec 03, 2014 - Page 10 News List

Gay singers test country music’s appeal
鄉村歌手出櫃 測試樂壇對同志的包容

Ty Herndon performs in Nashville, Tennessee on June 7, 2011.

Photo: AFP

Church, pickup trucks and dive bars — the imagery of classic country songs evokes “traditional” small-town American life. Now a rising number of openly gay crooners are testing just how inclusive that vision can be.

Two prominent singers came out of the closet within hours of each other on Nov. 20. Ty Herndon, who rose to stardom in the 1990s with both love ballads and Christian songs, declared himself to be an “out, proud and happy gay man.”

Herndon, who at 52 has been married twice to women, said that he had struggled since his childhood to come to terms with his sexuality.

He said he was now in a relationship with a man and has reconciled his Christianity and sexual orientation.

“I sit on the tailgate of my pickup truck, and I meditate, and I talk to God,” he told celebrity magazine People.

Soon after the article appeared, another major name in country music said he was inspired by Herndon to come out — Billy Gilman, who first entered the country charts in 2000 at age 11.

Compared with Herndon’s choreographed coming out, Gilman’s was rawly personal. He released an emotional video on YouTube, saying he was “scared to death” to go public but had been hurt by gossip about his life.

“Being a gay male country artist is not the best thing,” Gilman said of the Nashville-based industry.

“If people don’t like your music, that’s one thing. But after having sold over five million records, 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,” he said.

The former child star said he was not ashamed to be gay but voiced dismay that he was “in a genre and in an industry that is ashamed of me for being me.”



1. evoke v.

喚起 (huan4 qi3)

例: That old movie evoked memories of my childhood.


2. come to terms with v. phr.

使自己順從某事物; 設法忍受某事物 (shi3 zi4 ji3 shun4 cong2 mo3 shi4 wu4; she4 fa3 ren3 shou4 mo3 shi4 wu4)

例: You’ll just have to come to terms with the fact that she no longer loves you.


3. ashamed adj.

恥於…的 (chi3 yu2 ... de5)

例: She was ashamed to tell anyone that she had fallen in love with him.












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