LGBTQ Country & Western Singers

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The Country & Western music genre is historically considered a right wing, conservative branch of music that shuns any notion of same-sex attraction, both in terms of its lyrical content and the recognition accorded its LGBTQ singers/songwriters. Over the last few years, however, there has been a growing presence of prominent and successful LGBTQ artists appearing on the scene. In addition, a strong group of allies within the entertainment community has stood up for LGBTQ equality within the profession.

Early entrants to the Country & Western music scene who came out as LGBTQ had a rough time of it. Marsha Stevens was shunned by her community when she divorced her husband and came out as lesbian. She subsequently went on to create the support group BALM (Born Again Lesbian Ministry) and achieved popularity within the Metropolitan Community Church with her singing and songwriting. Singer Sid Spencer, a popular entertainer in the rodeo circuit in the United States during the 1980s and 1990s, and who included same-sex lyrics in his songs, succumbed to AIDS at an early age.

Success stories soon followed, however. Notable among these is renowned four-time Grammy-winning singer KD Lang (1989, 1990, 1993, and 2004). She was closely followed by Chely Wright, the 1995 Top New Female Vocalist by the Academy of Country Music. Indie artist Steve Grand has achieved a huge following from his self-financed YouTube release 'All American Boy' (with over 4 million views to date). Most recently, gay Shane McAnally was named 2014 Songwriter of the Year at the Country Music Awards.

We have identified the following LGBTQ Country & Western artists. Read their biographies for fascinating stories about their careers, including links to video clips of their performances:


United States

See Also

Further Reading/Research

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