For people that don't like mixing social issues with their entertainment, Wednesday wasn't a great day. But it was an important day for the genre of Country Music. I've worked in the genre since 1993 and I can't remember a day where I've felt so much sadness and then pride in a matter of hours.

I'm not going to dwell on Morgan Wallen. He is reaping what he sowed by uttering a word that you simply can't use. In any situation or context. Never. It made me sad for our format yesterday because prior to his drunken weekend screw up, Morgan was flying high and had all of us excited for what was next. Now we don't know if there will be a next. But then late yesterday morning, we got more news from the world of Country Music.

T.J. Osborne from Brothers Osborne announced that he was gay in an interview with Time Magazine. He became the first mainstream Country artist signed to a major label to come out. It was at that moment that my heart burst with pride and happiness. Gone was the division of a word. Here was a person showing their true colors and not being ashamed of it. Here was a man brave enough to share this news with a format of music that might not still completely embrace him.

The outpouring of support for T.J. was as instant as the condemnation for Morgan. I've never been prouder to be a Brothers Osborne fan. I'm happy that I get to play their music on the air today.

February 3rd, 2021 will be a date remembered for a long time in Country Music. What reason depends on the person, I suppose. But I'll always remember it for the artist who put his career, status, and future earnings on the line so he could be true to himself. What a beautiful message that is.

Ryan Brainard
Ryan Brainard
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