Lee Ann Womack Defends Chely Wright and Open-Minded Friends
Lee Ann Womack is speaking out about fellow country star and friend, Chely Wright and her announcement earlier this year that she is a lesbian. In spite of the media frenzy that followed Chely in the wake of her coming out, Lee Ann says it really isn't a big deal.
"I have known her for years," Lee Ann tells Chicago Pride. "She is precious, and I just wish her the very best. I don't think anybody around Nashville was shocked when she came out because most people knew already. But just taking a public stance and everything, she had a round of press to do and dealt with it head-on. I think that's great."
Lee Ann, who performed at the Nashville Human Rights Equality Campaign dinner in Nashville a few years ago, says she participated as a favor for a friend, and not because she is ready to hold a sign or march in a parade in support of homosexuality -- or any other cause. "I'm not an activist in anything," she insists. "I just believe very, very strongly that people should leave people alone and let them live the way they want to live, and I cannot begin to say that enough. That's why I was perfectly willing to go and do that."
Just as she is quick to defend gal-pal Chely, she is also quick to defend Nashville, and says people's perception that Music City is ultra-conservative is completely unfounded. "Sometimes I get offended when Nashville or the country music community is made out to be so narrow-minded," says the singer, "because I think there are narrow-minded people no matter what genre you're talking about or what part of the country or anything. All I know is that, personally, my friends and I are just not. We're not narrow-minded people."
Lee Ann is currently on the road with George Strait and Reba McEntire, and performing a few solo dates as well. And during her rare days at home, she's also back in the recording studio, working on the follow-up to her 2008 album, 'Call Me Crazy.' The Texas native promises the new project will, just like her last album, represent who she is as a country music artist ... and country music fan. "I love all kinds of music and I prefer to branch out and try different things sometimes," she says, "but the heart and soul of everything I am is more traditional, so if I get away from it for a little bit I desperately miss it."