Country music isn’t known for its welcoming attitude to minorities.
The genre has always had problems accepting people who aren’t white, straight, and Christian. Thankfully, that’s starting to change. This year’s Grammy nominations show how it’s possible for people who don’t fit the archetype to still find success in country music.
There are four country categories at the Grammys, and this year, there is at least one nominee in each of them who identifies as part of the LGBTQ community.
Brandy Clark is responsible for half of those nominations. The Nashville favorite, who lives her life openly as a lesbian, earned a nod in Best Country Solo Performance for her single “Buried.” She’s joined in that field by Dolly Parton, who might not be gay herself, but she’s essentially an honorary member.
Over in the similar Best Country Duo/Group Performance category, Brothers Osborne is representing the LGBTQ community. One-half of the sibling duo, T.J., came out as gay in 2021.
It was a big deal at the time, as he was one of the first major stars in country to do so. This year, they’re back in a vertical they know well with the song “Nobody’s Nobody.”
Clark is nominated again in the Best Country Song category. That trophy goes to the writers of a specific track, as opposed to the musicians who perform it. This time around, Clark is one of two writers on her single “Buried,” which earned Clark a pair of nods this year.
Brothers Osborne match Clark with a second Grammy nomination in the country categories. The two musicians are also up for Best Country Album, which in some circles is considered the top prize in the genre at the most prestigious honor in the music industry. The band’s self-titled set is in the running and could bring them their first win in this specific vertical.
Brothers Osborne hope to add to their trophy shelves next year with another win. T.J. made history as one of the first – if not the first – openly gay musicians to win a country Grammy.
The band collected Best Country Duo/Group Performance for the song “Younger Me,” which is about the singer’s sexuality. On the other hand, Clark hopes to win her first Grammy, which is a little surprising, as she’s now been nominated ten times.
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