CMA Awards 2021: Brothers Osborne’s T.J.Kisses Boyfriend After Vocal Duo Win

Nine months after coming out as gay, the singer and guitarist of the vocal duo celebrates his CMAs win by kissing his partner Abi Ventura and declares, ‘love wins tonight.’

AceShowbizT.J. Osborne made quite a statement at the 2021 CMA Awards. The Brothers Osborne guitarist kissed his boyfriend Abi Ventura when his group won Vocal Duo of the Year, nine months after coming out as gay.

“It’s been a crazy roller coaster of a year for us in so many ways, especially for me emotionally,” the 36-year-old singer and guitarist of the vocal duo said as he accepted his award. “And to have you all support me, it really does feel like love wins tonight. Thank you.”

As T.J., who publicly announced his sexuality in February, exited the stage, his brother John Osborne chimed in to praise his brother, “Give this boy a round of applause. We love this genre, we love the people, we love all of you so much.”

At the CMA Awards, hosted by Luke Bryan, Brothers Osborne were set to perform their song “Younger Me”, a track in which T.J. wrote about his experience coming to terms with his sexuality. Before belting out the tune, T.J. explained, “This is an important message that I wish I could tell my younger self.”

“The fact that we get to play a song that is so meaningful, particularly to myself, at a country music award show,” T.J. added. He went on to say that “it’s one of those things that just kind of transcends the awards itself, money itself, fame.”

T.J. continued, “The biggest thing that bothered me was not that I was being recognized but it kind of gave the message that maybe people that are gay or LGBTQ aren’t really that accepted in this state.” The Maryland native then shared, “While that may be true in certain areas of our stage, I don’t feel like it is in Nashville. It’s a very accepting city here.”

T.J. had been open about his sexuality with his family and close friends for years. However, he decided to share his personal preferences with fans in February because he didn’t want to feel “stifled” while enjoying his career success.

“I’m very comfortable being gay. 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,” he told Time magazine. The “Stay a Little Longer” singer confessed that “it was so lonely and isolating” of keeping his sexuality private, noting that “it made [him] resent people.”

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