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Thread: Billy Gilman explains his sexuality

  1. #1
    Ultimate Carrie Fan Farawayhills's Avatar
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    Billy Gilman explains his sexuality

    Many Country fans will probably know Billy Gilman's music, from the early 2000s. At the age of eleven, he became the youngest ever singer to gain a top two Billboard Country album (top 6 in Canada), with "One Voice", and released six albums in all, up until 2006

    More recently, he says he has experienced difficulties in attracting interest in his new work from major Nashville record labels - a situation he attributes to persistent rumours about his sexuality.

    After careful consideration, Billy has decided to make a personal statement to his fans and the public, through YouTube, in which he acknowledges his life with his partner.
    If you would like to hear his statement, this is the link:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5N7MBAPZWms


    I know this can be a controversial and divisive subject for some, but I hope people will respect Billy's sincerity, and the complex decision he has come to in making a public statement.

    In Country Music, it's noticeable that openly Gay women have been welcomed (at least in the more Roots sector). As examples, Brandi Carlile sang at Miranda's wedding, Mary Gauthier has played the Opry, and Brandy Clark received a CMA nomination this year. But openly Gay men have been almost entirely absent in the genre so far, and Billy is almost certainly the highest profile male Country singer to declare his sexuality.

  • #2
    hjj
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    Ty Herndon also made his announcement today as well.

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    Ultimate Carrie Fan clh_hilary's Avatar
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    Who are they though?

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    Ultimate Carrie Fan Farawayhills's Avatar
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    Although it's crass to reduce topics like this to business terms, it is nevertheless business considerations that will loom large in the thinking of the record companies and radio. The Mainstream, in particular, is controversy averse and fearful of how far its socially conservative audience will accept openly Gay front line performers. Those fears may well be exaggerated - but it remains difficult to assess when the singers concerned are ones who are not, or are no longer, current major chart figures. This can cloud the business perception in two senses - it can leave the labels and radio still uncertain about how today's audience would react to a major star in these circumstances - and it can leave supporters inclined to attribute lack of current success to the effects of "coming out", even when the artist concerned may not have been on Mainstream radio for some time anyway.

  • #5
    Obsessed Carrie Fan sur_crazy4carrie's Avatar
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    The trend has been that people do not come out in any field of entertainment (possibly in any field, period) unless they are convinced that they would be immune to any negative effect it would have on their careers. Nobody comes out at the height of their career. It's probably not their personal choice but rather a business decision. Crass though it might be, business does often take over the personal lives of these artists. And as irrelevant as anybody's sexuality should be, people care if their leading man is played by a gay actor or if a male country singer can't honestly sing about his girl bringing him beer.

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    Carrie Guru pklongbeach's Avatar
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    I think it is fair to say that a gay country singer can bring all the same elements of "country" to the table with out it being about sexuality. Carrie rarely sings about sexuality. Why should anyone assume that a gay country singer can't find "something" to sing about that is not sexually related.

    That's the key. It is true that it would be difficult for a gay man in country music to find his footing. But if the song is right it will happen.
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    Ultimate Carrie Fan Farawayhills's Avatar
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    I agree that the subject of the song is not the main issue.

    This example shows Mary Gauthier singing one of her best loved songs at the Opry - it can resonate with a general audience as an inspirational and wide ranging theme for our times. But some of the lines can also be interpreted as references to experiences particularly relevant to Gay culture.
    (Mary is one of the most respected singer-songwriters in contemporary Roots music - a winner at the Americana Music Association's awards, and a No Depression artist of the decade, as well as a published author. Marty Stuart, playing mandolin with her is a Bluegrass and Roots Country "legend", and husband of Hall of Famer, Connie Smith). Again, though, this is neither aimed at, nor likely to be played on Mainstream radio.




    In the case of a Gay male singer, I suspect it would be more than the choice of song that mattered, though. What his career advisers would be nervous of would be the image and perceived persona, in a genre that stresses a "macho" image, and often identifies symbolically with "Heartland" and "family" values.
    It's often believed that the younger audience is likely to be more receptive to tolerance - but that hasn't yet been tested with the fan base of any current leading male star in the format. The current batch of "bro" Country singers seem to be mixing a "good ole boy having a good ole time" appeal to male rock-leaning fans, with a flirtatious and raunchy appeal to female fans - and both may be particularly vulnerable to rumours and revelations about their sexuality. (That this has been a theme in the fictional "Nashville" shows at least the writers' view of the possible scenario)

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    Quote Originally Posted by pklongbeach View Post
    I think it is fair to say that a gay country singer can bring all the same elements of "country" to the table with out it being about sexuality. Carrie rarely sings about sexuality. Why should anyone assume that a gay country singer can't find "something" to sing about that is not sexually related.

    That's the key. It is true that it would be difficult for a gay man in country music to find his footing. But if the song is right it will happen.
    I think you are correct and I agree it will happen eventually but it may be a while before an openly gay man will be accepted into country music as a newcomer or an A lister. I really hope I'm wrong but unfortunately I think there are still a lot of people who simply won't buy it or listen to it if it comes from a gay man regardless of how good the song is. Just as it defies logic to believe there has never been a gay professional athlete before Michael Sam it defies logic to believe there has never been a gay country star until now. It's just unfortunate that they haven't been able to admit it.
    pklongbeach likes this.

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    Carrie Guru Carrie_Rocks_The_House's Avatar
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    Wow I didn't even know he was gay but more power to him. I remember seeing him on TV once on PBS when they had a special. He's a really good singer

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    Carrie Guru pklongbeach's Avatar
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    I have his Christmas album from when he was a kid. I don't know his voice now, but back then he was such a natural vocalist.

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    Ultimate Carrie Fan txacar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pklongbeach View Post
    I have his Christmas album from when he was a kid. I don't know his voice now, but back then he was such a natural vocalist.
    He still is. Here is a Sept. 2014 live performance of "Oklahoma" -- far superior to what we hear from most male country artists today. Totally beautiful.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RTy4dcaixFU
    Farawayhills and lizcarlo like this.

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    Carrie Guru rainbow1's Avatar
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    That was absolutely beautiful!!
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    Insane Carrie Fan lizcarlo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by txacar View Post
    He still is. Here is a Sept. 2014 live performance of "Oklahoma" -- far superior to what we hear from most male country artists today. Totally beautiful.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RTy4dcaixFU

    I have never heard of him. This is the first song I have heard of his. I am Christian and live in small town in the country. I don't care if artist I like is gay. He should be able to be with someone he loves not hide it and bring him to award shows like everyone else. All I care about is talent. Can we trade him for Florida Georgia Line? I'd rather hear him at country award shows. His singing is so good. Such a beautiful song. Much better than the majority of males in mainstream.
    txacar and pklongbeach like this.

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    Ultimate Carrie Fan jptexas's Avatar
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    Good for Ty and Billy. Now let's hear all the other current country stars proclaim their sexuality. Well, if they want to.

    Lets see: Tim McGraw- hetero
    Blake-hetero
    Brad-hetero
    Kenny, no comment

    This whole thing is silly ain't it. Who cares.
    txacar and Mirasa45A like this.

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    Carrie Guru pklongbeach's Avatar
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    ITs not that important to the 90% who are hetero. Why would a majority member announce their position? There is no point.
    Much like someone who is black but can "pass" as white decides they want to make a statement about the person they are, and the way in which God made them, in order to simply live a life of pride and commitment to who they are. It would not make sense to argue back to them. Well, who cares, I am white!
    Farawayhills likes this.

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    Ultimate Carrie Fan Farawayhills's Avatar
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    Although I'm not directly involved myself - I do think it matters. From discussions I've had on line, often with Country Music fans from small towns, I know the concept of "coming out" can be complex, sometimes difficult, but often therapeutic. It should always be a matter of personal choice - everyone's different, and no one should feel compelled to go public. But for many members of a minority (about 10%, as PK has said), it can be important to share their experience with others, to feel that their life is more fulfilled and more honest, if it's openly acknowledged, not as a matter of shame, but as an expression of their whole identity in society.
    txacar and pklongbeach like this.


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