Chely Wright had dated Brad Paisley, scored the #1 country hit "Single White Female," and had six albums to her name when, in 2010, she publicly came out as a lesbian.
She had been struggling with her sexuality for some time. "There had never, ever been a country music artist who had acknowledged his or her homosexuality," she told People. "I wasn't going to be the first."
After coming out of the closet to family members, Chely decided it was time to go public in 2010. The same year, she released the album Lifted Off the Ground and the autobiography Like Me: Confessions of a Heartland Country Singer.
According to the book, songwriter John Rich was among those who didn't agree with Wright's decision. "You know, that's not cool, if you've chosen to live that kind of lifestyle," she recalls him telling her. "Fans won't have it. This industry won't allow it."
A documentary detailing her struggles, Chely Wright: Wish Me Away, was released in 2011.