Patrick Haggerty, pioneering gay country star, dies at 78

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When Patrick Haggerty prepared to record his first country music album, he had a choice to make.

He can be an industry-friendly country star and stay in the closet, or he can use music to express an opinion about what it’s like to be gay in a deeply discriminatory world.

He chose the latter, and 1973’s Lavender Country, Haggerty’s first self-titled album, is now widely considered the first country album recorded by a gay musician.

Haggerty, a staunch activist for LGBTQ and socialist causes and a married father of two, was persona non grata in the music business for years. “Lavender Country” was a defiantly queer record with songs like “Cryin’ These C**ksuckin’ Tears” at a time when few musicians in any genre were comfortable coming out as gay.

So it was surprising to Haggerty when he got the chance to re-release that historic album and record another one in 2014, performing with other LGBTQ country musicians and sharing his story with millions. He became a country music star after all.

“The very thing that initially sunk me is what cast me into this position,” he told CNN earlier this year.

Haggerty, a pioneer in his seventh year, died Monday, several weeks after suffering a stroke, said close friend and label executive Brendan Greaves. Haggerty was 78 years old.

Haggerty never tried to suppress or hide his queerness. He was kicked out of the Peace Corps in the ’60s because he was gay, he told CNN earlier this year. He found a family in Seattle’s LGBTQ community, whose members helped convince Haggerty, a self-proclaimed “stage pig,” to record the album. He told Pitchfork in 2014 that his gay friends in Seattle were “who we made it for and who we played it to.”

Haggerty wrote “Lavender Country” as a statement to the music industry—he would refuse to conform to the heteronormative standards of the time, and he certainly wouldn’t try to hide his queerness. “Lavender Country” was a protest record. He assumed it would be his last.

“When we did ‘Lavender Country,’ we weren’t stupid,” he told CNN. “No genre would appreciate anything I had to say.”

In the decades between his first and second albums, Haggerty dedicated his life to activism. A staunch socialist — he often called himself a “screaming Marxist” — he championed HIV/AIDS awareness, LGBTQ causes and civil rights for black Americans. She and her husband had two children and retired to a town on Puget Sound. His musical dreams were shattered long ago.

“I filled my life with all kinds of interesting and engaging things that were meaningful to me that had nothing to do with music,” he told CNN in March.

But in 2013, record collector Haggerty bought the record on eBay and shared it with Greaves, who called Haggerty and discussed reissuing the album on his Paradise of Bachelors label. Haggerty was suspicious, Greaves remembered — as he told CNN earlier this year, Haggerty was performing for free to mostly nursing home crowds at the time.

That call with Greaves was the first step in reintroducing Haggerty and Lavender Country to new listeners, many of whom had been hungry for the gay country star. Paradise of Bachelors reissued Lavender Country’s self-titled first album, which was once only available by mail order in the back of a Seattle alternative paper.

Within months, Haggerty found herself in an industry she had long thought had turned her off.

“Finally, like 35 years of pent-up grief over ‘Lavender Country’ came out and I’m like in a puddle of tears,” she told CNN of the day Greaves called. “My life changed completely and forever that day.”

As more people heard “Lavender Country” and learned Haggerty’s story, his contributions to country music became more widely recognized and appreciated. He even starred in a 2016 documentary about his life and legacy, and his music was featured in an original ballet performed by a San Francisco-based company.

He performed songs he had written more than 40 years earlier alongside new gay country stars like Orville Peck and Trixie Mattel, both of whom have found considerable success integrating their identities into their acts.

Peck remembered Haggerty as the “grandfather of queer country” in an Instagram post.

“One of the funniest, bravest, kindest souls I’ve ever known, she pioneered a movement and message in the country that was almost unheard of,” Peck wrote alongside photos of the two performing together. “A true one-of-a-kind legend.”

Last year, Lavender Country played shows across the US in support of their second record, Blackberry Rose, performing alongside other LGBTQ country acts such as Paisley Fields, who remembered Haggerty as “a trailblazer, fearless and outspoken.”

Knowing that Haggerty had changed Greaves’ life, he wrote on the social accounts of his label and other leagues. Even more than his music, Greaves told CNN, he cherishes the memories of practicing in Haggerty’s living room, playing with Greaves’ son and teaching him to make banana cream pie.

“He taught me how to be a better father and a better person,” Greaves told CNN. “As outspoken and loud as he was, and for all his diva demeanor, which was legendary and difficult at times, he was also a very gentle, kind family man and friend and mentor.”

Haggerty never aspired to country prominence in the traditional sense, nor did he regret the circuitous path it took to get him there. He still expressed disbelief that he could live his dream of performing music with a message and do it his way.

“I’ll admit it secretly, I wanted to be a tooth all the time,” he previously told CNN. “But now I can use my teeth to instigate social change and fight for a better world.”

Are the members of Brothers Osborne married?

One of Osborne’s brothers is married. John married British singer and songwriter Lucie Silvas in 2015. See the article : Does a Tampa school library book teach about gay sex?. A true power couple, they met through work. John first invited Lucie to collaborate in 2007.

Who is TJ from Brothers Osborne dating? Osborne is so in love with her boyfriend, Abi Ventura. It’s been a year since T.J. Osborne came out as gay and made history as the first queer artist signed to a major national label.

Who Are brother Osborne married to?

John Osborne is married to British singer and songwriter Lucie Silvas. They met during a songwriting session in 2007 and married in 2015. Read also : Games Done Quick cancels Florida event over ‘Don’t Say Gay’ laws. That same year, John played guitar and co-produced Silvas’ studio album Letters to Ghosts.

Who is Abi Ventura?

His full name is Abiezer Ventura and he is originally from Veracruz Llave, Mexico and currently lives in Chicago, Illinois. His mother’s name is Mary Hernandez and he grew up with his older brother Ur and two younger brothers named Jared and Jason. He belongs to a mixed ethnic background.

Who is TJ’s boyfriend?

The Grammy-winning Brothers Osborne singer went public with her love for BF Abi Ventura in a super cute Instagram post. True love still exists! And country singer TJ Osborne and her boyfriend Abi Ventura are proof of that!

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Brothers Osborne’s stunning single “I’m Not For Everyone” was recently pulled from country radio, and men are outraged by the unwelcome news. TJ Osborne ruffled feathers when he interrupted the song’s ending during the duo’s on-camera acceptance speech at Monday night’s ACM Awards.

Does Brothers Osborne have a boyfriend?

Grammy-winning duo Brothers Osborne Osborne celebrated boyfriend Abi Ventura’s birthday with a super cute post on Instagram.

Did Brothers Osborne have a single pulled from radio?

Brothers Osborne’s stunning single “I’m Not For Everyone” was recently pulled from country radio, and men are outraged by the unwelcome news. To see also : The Orlando Pride football team apologizes for not allowing the “Gay” banner at the match. TJ Osborne ruffled feathers when he interrupted the song’s ending during the duo’s on-camera acceptance speech at Monday night’s ACM Awards.

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Guitarist John Osborne hit a crossroads while the group toured to promote their second hit album, Port Saint Joe, when his struggles with depression and anxiety brought him to a breaking point and he and his brother pulled the plug on the tour. .

What was the issue with Brothers Osborne?

Osborne came out as gay, while John Osborne struggled with anxiety and depression so severe that he considered giving up music altogether.

Why did they pull Brothers Osborne single off radio?

According to Billboard , Brothers Osborne’s dig during their acceptance speech was a reference to their label, EMI Records Nashville, deciding to no longer promote “I’m Not for Everyone” to country radio after it “stalled in the ’30s on the chart.” .”

What happened to one of the Osborne Brothers?

Sonny Osborne, best known for representing the iconic bluegrass act the Osborne Brothers, has died, according to the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum. Osborne, 84, died of a stroke. The Osborne Brothers are most widely known for being the first to record the Tennessee anthem “Rocky Top,” written by Felice and Boudleaux Bryant.

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Who has 3 diamond albums in a row?

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