NASHVILLE, Tennessee (AP) – When the Osborne brothers take the stage for the CMA Awards On Wednesday, the award-winning duo will be a powerful message for fans who sometimes feel like outsiders – an experience they know all too well.
The brothers from Deal, Maryland, have spoken about their love life and personal issues in recent months, and vocalist TJ has publicly declared himself gay. and guitarist John talk about their concerns.
The song “Younger Me” that they will play is a poignant reminder that things are getting better. They are proof of that.
“The fact that we are playing a song that is so meaningful, especially to me, at the country music awards ceremony is one of those things that go beyond the awards themselves, the money and the fame themselves,” said T.J. Osborne.
The duo, which has received four CMA awards, has received three awards, including the album of the year for “Skeletons”, which was nominated for the first time in this category.
Even recording their album seemed like a series of obstacles to overcome. They initially had to postpone the recording while John Osborne took time off from therapy to cope with his depression and anxiety, which had become so intense that he seriously redefined his music career.
“I had to leave. I had to turn off my phone. I had to be away from my family, ”said John Osborne. “I had to restart.”
One thing he learned and continued to learn later, when COVID-19 broke out, was that the world would not die if he pressed the pause button.
When they resumed recording, TJ was trapped by salmonella poisoning, then a tornado hit Nashville in March 2020, cutting off electricity in the East Nashville area where they were recording.
By the time they returned to finish the album, the coronavirus pandemic and blackouts had begun.
“So there was an element in the Skeletons that felt like the end of time,” said John Osborne. “I thought this might be the last record we ever made in our life, and let’s record it as if it were. And I still think so. We threw all our chips on the table. “
Although T.J. Osborne spoke openly about his sexuality with his close friends and family, doubts kept him from deciding when to publicly announce it. Other country artists have waited years for public appearances, such as Cheli Wright and later Ty Herndon, citing concerns about how it might affect their careers.
While many other overtly gay artists and songwriters currently work in country music, including Brandi Carlisle, Brandi Clarke, Brooke Eden, Shane McAnally and Lily Rose, Osborne is one of the most famous.
“Country is a wonderful genre,” said John Osborne. “But there was such a hidden implication … there is a vault, and only certain people are allowed to enter. However, when you go to concerts, you see that people from all walks of life are enjoying it. “
Solution T.D. Osborne’s public speaking also prompted them to turn to controversial political discussions about LGBTQ issues, especially in Tennessee. Tennessee Leads Country to Pass New Laws which target transgender people, including prohibiting transgender athletes from playing sports in public girls’ schools.
When the state legislator blocked proposed government regulation in honor of T.J. Osborne earlier this year, they met with Republican State Representative Jeremy Faison over lunch to talk.
“It kind of made it clear that maybe people who are gay or LGBTQ aren’t actually accepted in this state,” TJ Osborne said. “And while that may be true in certain areas of our state, I don’t feel like it’s in Nashville, and I think it’s a very welcoming city.”
After the resolution was blocked, the Osborne brothers released their music video. for “Younger Me” using the steps of the Capitol building as a backdrop.
In a black and white video, nominated for the CMA Music Video of the Year, the band and several young people sing along to the lyrics.
The Osborne brothers wanted others to see a different message emanating from the Capitol Building – inclusiveness and acceptance.
“There is still this other big movement of people here … who are accepting, speaking, and by your side with open arms,” TJ Osborne said. “And you are not alone.”
Follow Christine M. Hall at https://twitter.com/kmhall
This story has been updated to correct the dotless spelling of T.J. Osborne’s name.