The Big Hurt: A big country lesbian pissing match

Music news in brief
By DAVID THORPE  |  May 17, 2010

1005_luda_main

Reports began to surface recently that a major country star was set to come out of the closet in People magazine. I had high hopes for Chris Gaines, but no such luck — turns out it’s CHELY WRIGHT, who had a big hit in 1999 or something.

Says billboard.com: “This is uncharted territory for country music: there’s never been a major star in this genre to reveal his or her homosexuality.” The headline was even less equivocal, calling Wright “Country Music’s First Openly Gay Singer.” Seeing how it’s the organization that tallies the country charts, you’d think Billboard would remember that uncapitalized songstress k.d. lang had some hit country singles and albums a while back, won some Grammy awards, and was named one of the top women of country by Country Music Television. But maybe the Billboard folks aren’t counting her — she came out in 1992, after they’d started tracking her on the adult-contemporary charts. Was she never technically out while she was technically country?

It wasn’t just Billboard — a report on advocate.com makes a similar claim: “Wright will be the first major country-music artist to come out.” What gives? Maybe it’s down to the semantics of “major”-ness — unlike Wright, lang never hit #1. Or maybe it’s the politics of country-ness — maybe you stop being country when you start crossing over. Can a Canadian ever be truly country? Hank Snow, yes; Shania Twain, no.

A report on CMT’s Web site comes closest to acknowledging k.d.: “lang . . . declared herself a lesbian in the early ’90s. And it’s not like there was public outcry and country listeners refused to accept her. (The truth is that mainstream country listeners never really accepted lang to begin with. . . . )”

Meanwhile, almost every outlet reporting the news has speculated about its effect on Wright’s career. I guess we’ll find out almost instantly, since the headline-grabbing announcement came one day before the release of a comeback album and an autobiography.

BRANDON FLOWERS of the Killers has announced plans for a solo album. I’m dubious about the prospect of his going it alone, since that strips away the one mitigating factor of the band: 75 percent of them aren’t Brandon Flowers.

In a Howard Stern Show appearance, COURTNEY LOVE claimed that she’d had an eight-month affair with Gavin Rossdale in 2002, sometime around his marriage to Gwen Stefani. I have a theory that — aside from maybe a little circle jerk in the gossip-press echo chamber — nobody in the world actually gives a shit. I think the maximum possible response to this item is, “Oh.” From their dismissive response, I don’t think Gavin Rossdale and Gwen Stefani give a shit. I don’t even know whether Courtney Love gives a shit, or whether she was just, y’know (I’m making the little quacky-duck-talk motion with my hand). If you’re that nebulous theoretical being who gives a shit, please e-mail me — we need to get to the bottom of this.

You know your agent is generating all the right promotional bookings when you’re getting headlines like this on billboard.com: “LUDACRIS Helps Launch Magnum Condoms Contest.” Way to go, Luda’s agent, for finding a subtle way to insert your client’s huge dick into the public consciousness.

1  |  2  |   next >
Related: Julianna Barwick | Florine, Rihanna | Rated R, Elvis Presley | Elvis 75: Good Rockin' Tonight, More more >
  Topics: Big Hurt , Celebrity News, Entertainment, Gwen Stefani,  More more >
| More


Most Popular
ARTICLES BY DAVID THORPE
Share this entry with Delicious
  •   THE BIG HURT: LUPE’S CAREER CHANGE  |  March 19, 2013
    You may have already had a big luxurious eye roll at celebrities as "creative directors" of companies ...
  •   WHO CHARTED: SMOOTH JAZZ SONGS  |  March 12, 2013
    If you dig deep enough into Billboard.com's genre charts, past the foreign hits, past the Latin and Christian stuff and the MySpace streaming charts, you'll find one last afterthought: Smooth Jazz.
  •   THE BIG HURT: THIS WEEK IN OFFENSIVE CONTENT  |  March 08, 2013
    In her long career of pushing boundaries, Madonna has run afoul of some of the world's most powerful institutions.
  •   THE BIG HURT: DIVING IN THE PR DUMPSTER  |  February 26, 2013
    I've been dumpster diving in the PR bin, the rankest receptacle of music industry waste, and I've come up with a dripping fistful of the month's hottest garbage.
  •   THE BIG HURT: LEANIN' WITH BIEBS  |  February 20, 2013
    Bieber was allegedly photographed sipping something from a double Styrofoam cup, in close proximity to a big bottle of codeine cough syrup. This can only add up to one thing: lean . That purple drank, the laudanum of Screw, the deadly nectar of Pimp C.

 See all articles by: DAVID THORPE