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Chely Wright appears in a promotional 2010 photo for her new album, Lifted Off the Ground, posted on her Facebook page. - Provided courtesy of facebook.com/chelyw

Chely Wright: Coming out as a lesbian hurt music career

01/11/2011 by Corinne Heller

Chely Wright, who announced last year that she is gay, says that her country music career has suffered and her life has been threatened since she came out publicly.

Wright, a country music star from Kansas City, Missouri, had said in media interviews that she grew up in a community in the South, where homosexuality was shunned and that she hid her sexuality for the sake of her music.

"It didn't help my career," Wright told the website autostraddle.com. "My record sales went directly in half. You won't hear me bitching and moaning on my Facebook about the hate mail I've gotten. My life has been threatened. I get nasty letters every day, 'I'm through with you Chely Wright, you're going to hell.'"

"In coming out I had a feeling that it would diminish my wage earning, and that feeling was correct," she said. "And, I am fine with that."

Wright released her new album, "Lifted Off the Ground," in May, following her coming out announcement to the press.

She added that several of her fellow music artists also broke contact with her since she came out of the closet.

"There are a lot of other people in the industry that I had a friendly email relationship with, or would occasionally text with that I have not heard a word from," she said. "I don't wanna out anyone & It's not nice to out people."

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