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Chely Wright: From Nashville Star To Outcast Activist

As a child, country music singer Chely Wright would say a daily prayer: "Dear God, please don't let me be gay."

Fiercely protecting the secret of her sexuality, she moved to Nashville to pursue a music career, and became a star. But the whole time, she lived in fear that the truth would destroy her career. The burden of her secret eventually led her to the brink of suicide.

A new documentary film, Wish Me Away, follows her struggle to accept her sexuality, and her eventual decision to become the first country music star to publicly come out as gay. The announcement, on NBC's Today Show in 2010, dramatically changed her career. She says she was frozen out of much of the country music business.

NPR's Neal Conan talks with Wright about her journey, and how it transformed her career.

Copyright 2012 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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