Country singer Billy Gilman declares himself to be gay. It is for the second time in as many days that a singer has come with such a revelation.
Ty Herndon, 51, told people during an interview on Tuesday that he is a "proud and happy gay man". The news was revealed to the public only on Thursday.
Following his example, Gilman in a YouTube video posted on 20 November spoke apprehensively about his sexual preferences. The 26-year-old Rhode Island native said that Herndon inspired him to confess, the Huffington Post reports.
Gilman, at the age of 12, became the youngest singer to land a Top-40 hit on the country music charts, AL.com reports. The track through which he shot to fame was "One Voice". The album went double platinum and shipped more than two million copies.
Another of his songs, "Oklahoma", also made it to the top 40 on the charts.
In the YouTube clip, Gilman also stated that he has been with a partner for five months now. He took the decision to reveal his sexuality when a mediaperson clicked a photograph of him and his partner at an event.
Gilman went on to say in the video:
"I knew that I'd rather it be from me than you reading it somewhere else and probably filled with 'not truth...You know, it's difficult for me to make this video not because I'm ashamed of being a gay male artist or a gay artist or a gay person. But it's pretty silly to know that I'm ashamed of doing this knowing that because I'm in an genre and industry that is ashamed of me for being me. That said, I want to say that all of the country artists that literally I grew up with - Keith Urban, Vince, Lee Ann Rhimes and all of these wonderful friends of mine have been nothing but supportive. Not that they knew but they've just been such wonderful people."
Herndon said that even though his family might have known, he couldn't make his sexuality public because of his music career, USA Today reports. "My mother probably knew I was gay before I did. I remember sitting down with her and having the conversation," Herndon said, adding that his family "has seen me struggle with being gay my whole career."
View the video posted by Gilman below: