Chely Wright: “I’m Gay!” Everyone Else: “Great! Also, Who Are You?”

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People magazine has been dangling a coming-out story in front of us for a while now, and this week’s issue reveals who the out-of-the-closet celebrity is. Drumroll….It’s Chely Wright! Congrats on finally opening up, Chely! Now remind us…who are you, exactly?

Wright is above all else, a musician and has written several Top 20 country songs and collaborated with Brad Paisley and Richard Marx as both a singer and songwriter. She also had a #1 hit in 1999 with the song “Single White Female.” Wright told the magazine that she kept her sexuality under wraps because she worried what the country music community would think. “There had never, ever been a country music artist who had acknowledged his or her homosexuality. I wasn’t going to be the first. . .I hid everything for my music.”

Despite our unfamiliarity with her, Chely actually isn’t a stranger to magazine profiles: she was named one of People‘s “50 Most Beautiful People” in 2001 and one of FHM’s “100 Sexiest Women of 2002″ before this week’s feature. In hindsight, quotes like this one that Wright’s pal Keith Urban gave to People seem funnier and foretelling: “She can kick your ass whether it’s on the golf course or softball field. I wouldn’t get near her—unless she was on my team!” Her interview coincides with the release of a memoir entitled Like Me, which comes out (no pun intended) tomorrow. [Photos: Getty Images]

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