05:37 PM EDT 10/21/2013
Originally posted 05/03/2010 09:00AM
Country singer Chely Wright's reasoning was sound. "There had never, ever been a country music artist who had acknowledged his or her homosexuality," she tells PEOPLE. "I wasn't going to be the first."
But now Wright is changing her tune. "Nothing in my life has been more magical than the moment I decided to come out," she says.
Wright, 39, recalls of her youth in the South: "I don't have a memory in my life that doesn't include the dream of making music." But during her childhood and rapid ascent to fame in the county world, she also experienced a community in which homosexuality was shunned. "I hid everything for my music," says Wright.
Originally posted 01/27/2009 12:00PM
Since making a successful transition from pop to country music, Darius Rucker has played small venues around the country. But after seeing Brad Paisley's show in front of 12,000 fans last year, he just had to join in on the fun.
"I saw him play in Charleston (S.C.), and I was really blown away by him," Rucker, 42, told CMT.com. "Actually, on the way home from that show, I called my management and said, 'I don't care what it costs me. I want to go out with Brad for a little while.' "
It helped that Rucker was already pals with the other opening act on the Paisley Party Tour, Dierks Bentley, 34, whom he calls "incredible."
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