TJ Osborne Shares Sweet Moment With Partner as He Declares 'Love Wins Tonight' at CMA Awards
By Liz Calvario
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It was a special night for TJ Osborne who declared "love wins" at the 2021 CMA Awards.
The musician of Brothers Osborne and brother John Osborne took home the award for Vocal Duo of the Year during Wednesday's ceremony in Nashville, Tennessee. As they got up from their seats, TJ, 36, shared a sweet kiss with his partner before taking the stage.
"I tell you, every time we have won this award it has never ceased to be extremely shocking," TJ, who came out as gay in February, said of their fourth win in the category. "Thanks to everyone who voted for us. It's been a crazy roller coaster of a year for us in so many ways, especially for me, emotionally, and to have you all support me. It really does feel like love wins tonight, thank you."
John then took the mic, adding, "Give this boy a round of applause. We love this genre, we love the people, we love all of you so much."
After the win, the Brothers Osborne took the stage to perform "Younger Me." Before kicking off the performance, TJ shared some heartfelt words.
"For many years I would watch this show, year after year, and I always thought how incredible it'd be and I'd dream of being here on this stage," TJ said. "And there were so many things that were so many hurdles for me. And I always truthfully felt like it would never be possible because of my sexuality to be here."
"And I just wish, I wish, my younger me could see me now," he concluded before his beautiful performance.
Fans couldn't have been happier for TJ and his honest words throughout the night.
Let me tell you seeing an openly gay man win a #CMA award & the cameras not cut away when he kissed his date, is not something I thought I’d see in my lifetime. Happy to be proven wrong. Hell yes TJ Osborne!!!!! pic.twitter.com/CWxkuoQ1Me
In his interview with Time, TJ shared that he's known he was gay since he was young and that he had been out to friends and family for years.
"I'm very comfortable being gay," he said. "I find myself being guarded for not wanting to talk about something that I personally don't have a problem with. That feels so strange."
While he is comfortable with his sexuality, he acknowledged that more conservative country music audiences might not be.
"People will ask, 'Why does this even need to be talked about?' and personally, I agree with that," he relayed of discussing his sexuality. "But for me to show up at an awards show with a man would be jaw-dropping to people. It wouldn't be like, 'Oh, cool!'"
"I want to get to the height of my career being completely who I am," he noted. "I mean, I am who I am, but I've kept a part of me muted, and it's been stifling."
The musician, meanwhile, received nothing but support from the country music community and fans. Weeks after, during an interview with CBS This Morning, he said the support he received was "amazing."
He added that he "would encourage anyone else out there dealing with the same thing" to share their story. "It's a hard thing to describe and a very difficult thing to go through, and I even had support around me. But once I finally came out, I didn't really understand the magnitude of how much people cared about me and loved me and supported me."
"Had I known that the whole time, I would have probably done it a long time ago and saved myself a lot of strife," he continued. "Anyone out there, if you're dealing with that, there's people that love you and people that support you a lot. Be encouraged by that."