EXCLUSIVE VIDEO: Country Star Ty Herndon Comes Out as Gay

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Country Star Ty Herndon:  I'm Gay


After nearly two decades in country music, Ty Herndon is ready to be honest with his fans: He's gay.

The country star opens up about his past, present and future in an interview with Entertainment Tonight's Nischelle Turner that rivals ABC's country soap Nashville with its real-life drama. Herndon discussed everything from his former drug use, his failed marriages and his current relationship.

"I have an awesome relationship that I've been in for a good number of years," Herndon tells ET in a new sit-down airing Thursday. "[I] love him very much and he loves me."

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Married twice before, Herndon reveals that both of his ex-wives were "absolutely" aware of his sexuality.

"I had a lot of people around me that I trusted at a time and I was like,'Hey, you know this about me but the world doesn't. So I'm gonna need to call on your services for a little while,'" he confessed. "It was unfortunate that I had to do that, but I felt that's what I had to do to have my career. Standing on some pretty solid legs today, so I get to tell my truth today."

The news brings new meaning to the singer's latest album, Lies I Told Myself, which was released in 2013. Today, Herndon reveals that the biggest lie he told himself is "that I couldn't be gay in country music."

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"I've dreamed about being in country music since I was 6 years old," he said. "It's my life, it's what I do, it's who I am, and I went to great lengths to cover up that fact to be to be a country star."

Rumors surrounding Herndon's sexuality first surfaced back in 1995, when an undercover male police officer alleged that the star exposed himself in a park.

"I wish I had really great recall or memory about that," Herndon said of the allegation. "I think I had been up for like 6 days doing drugs the night and the day was really a huge blur for me."

Now fully clean and sober, Herndon is looking forward to a future with his partner of five years, joking with ET that he hoped a proposal might follow his big reveal. "God, I'm hoping he asks me right after this interview!" he said.

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"I do want children one day, you know," he added. "I do want to be married one day."

But for now, Herndon says he's thrilled to be seeing increasing levels of acceptance in Nashville.

"Traditionally in country music, we don't see a lot of support for the LGBT community, but that's changing so much," he said. "Nashville is changing so much. I mean my goodness... Kacey Musgraves won Song of the Year for [the lyrics] 'follow your arrow, wherever it points' and two amazing songwriters that happened to be gay wrote that song."

Herndon continued, "It gives me a lot of hope that that Nashville is ready for this. I get to be free today. I'm born again today, and I feel like I'm not gonna have any trouble sleeping tonight."

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Tune in to Entertainment Tonight on Thursday for more from our sit-down with Herndon.

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EXCLUSIVE VIDEO: Country Star Ty Herndon Comes Out as Gay
390769 07: Epic artist Ty Herndon opens the Sony Music show June 14, 2001 at Fan FairAE, the world''s biggest country music festival in Nashville, TN. The music festival returned to downtown Nashville June 14-17 with an aggregate daily attendance of more than 124,000, the biggest crowd in Fan Fair''s history. (Photo courtesy Country Music Association via Getty Images)
NASHVILLE, TN - APRIL 24: Ty Herndon and Chris McDaniel attends the 2013 Nashville film festival at Green Hills Regal Theater on April 24, 2013 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Beth Gwinn/Getty Images)
NASHVILLE, TN - OCTOBER 19: Ty Herndon perform at Mercy Lounge on October 19, 2010 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Beth Gwinn/WireImage)
LOS ANGELES, CA - FEBRUARY 13: Musician Ty Herndon arrives at The 53rd Annual GRAMMY Awards held at Staples Center on February 13, 2011 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images)
Ty Herndon (Photo by Rick Diamond/WireImage)
Ty Herndon during 25th Annual Downtown Hoedown Sponsored by Country 99.5 WYCD - Day 3 at Hart Plaza in Detroit, Michigan, United States. (Photo by Paul Warner/WireImage)
LAS VEGAS - MAY 15: ***EXCLUSIVE/MINIMUM PRICING*** Singers Sara Evans and Ty Herndon backstage at the 42nd Annual Academy Of Country Music Awards All-Star Jam held at the MGM Grand Conference Center on May 15, 2007 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Kevin Winter/ACMA/Getty Images for ACMA)
UNIVERSAL CITY, CA - MAY 9: Singer Ty Herndon attends the 36th Annual Academy of Country Music Awards on May 9, 2001 at the Universal Amphitheatre in Universal City, California. (Photo by Ron Galella, Ltd./WireImage)
NASHVILLE, TN - JUNE 07: Ty Herndon attends Country Weekly's 5th annual fashion show & concert at Rocketown on June 7, 2011 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Mike Coppola/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 06: (EXCLUSIVE COVERAGE) (L-R) Christopher J. Hanke, Chely Wright, Kristin Chenoweth, and Ty Herndon pose backstage after the 'I Am Harvey Milk' Benefit Concert at Avery Fisher Hall, Lincoln Center on October 6, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by D Dipasupil/Getty Images)
NASHVILLE, TN - JUNE 07: Laura Bell Bundy (L) and Ty Herndon attend Country Weekly's 5th annual fashion show & concert at Rocketown on June 7, 2011 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Mike Coppola/Getty Images)
Singer Ty Herndon arrives at The 53rd Annual GRAMMY Awards held at Staples Center on February 13, 2011 in Los Angeles, California.
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