Ty Herndon’s calendar is very full these days and he couldn’t be happier about it.
Ever since coming out publicly as a gay man late last year, Herndon has been mixing his regular concert tour dates with things like LA Pride, the GLAAD Media Awards, the Gay Men’s Chorus of LA’s Voice Awards and Pride Night at Dodgers Stadium.
‘I keep coming off tour to show up and do these things that are so important,’ Herndon, 51, told Gay Star News while at the Voice Awards.
‘It’s good to be busy. It’s a whirlwind right now,’ he said. ‘I remember a time in my life it was always like that and I also remember a time, just a short five years ago, I was sitting on my couch and just wishing the phone would ring.
‘Every day I get to get up and make music for a living, I mean c’mon. And people show up. Especially now that I’m out of the closet. it’s very interesting at shows because we have a ton of LGBT people there and then the same old country fans. They still show up and it’s such a blended family and I’m just really loving that.’
It’s taken awhile to be this in demand again following years of struggle for Herndon who kept his sexuality secret when he first hit the charts in 1995 with the single What Mattered Most.
His other hits included Living in a Moment, It Must Be Love, I Want My Goodbye Back, Loved Too Much, A Man Holding On (To a Woman Letting Go) and Hands of a Working Man.
After five years of riding high, the strain took a toll and by 2002, Herndon was no longer being played on radio and had stopped touring.
The tough times
His professional and personal slide that included a divorce from his second wife, bankruptcy, gaining 75 pounds, financial and legal problems and two stints in drug and alcohol rehabilitation facilities.
During this new phase of his career, he earned a Grammy nomination for his 2010 album Journey On and in 2013 released the album Lies I Told Myself.
Herndon officially came out in an interview with People Magazine last November and has been in a relationship with Matt Collum for more than two years.
Nashville storyline mirrors real life
Now that he’s out, Herndon has been watching the ABC drama Nashville with a lot of interest because the character of Country music singer Will Lexington (played by Chris Carmack) came out as gay at the end of last season after a sham marriage to a woman.
‘They’ve been telling my story a little bit which is kind of fun. I caught up with the season. So many of the cast live in Nashville and it’s great to run into them. Chris Carmack is an awesome guy. I tell him, “Dude, if you need to know how the story ends and how it begins, we’ll talk about it.”‘
‘Would he guest star?
‘Oh my goodness yes,’ he said. ‘That show has changed the landscape of Nashville and it came at a great time because Nashville is on the world stage now – not because of the show, we were headed that way because of the music. To have a television show like that come into town and be so successful, we are getting a lot of traffic in Nashville. It takes my mama 20 minutes to get to the beauty shop now because of the traffic – we’re growing so much!’