Ty Herndon just released a cover of Carrie Underwood's 2007 hit, "So Small." The song, which was on Underwood's Carnival Ride album, will appear on Herndon's upcoming Got It Covered record, out on Aug. 23. Herndon decided to record the song because of the significance it played in his own life, at one of the most pivotal crossroads he has ever experienced.
"I was having a tough time deciding whether or not I wanted to stay in a business that I loved so much," Herndon said in a statement. "I was in my truck on my way to a real estate class when I heard Carrie Underwood sing a song that changed the game for me. The message was incredibly strong and it was something I needed to hear. I had quite a few tears that morning in my truck.
"I let go of my fear and decided to stay in the music business," he continued. "And it also gave me the courage to start the conversation about my own coming out process."
Herndon officially came out as a gay man in the fall of 2014, marking the first major male country artist to take the brave step.
"I've been in this business for 25 years, I've been very, a very lucky man, but I authentically couldn't live in this skin anymore," Herndon recalled to PopCulture.com of his struggles to accept his sexuality. "I was actually ready. I didn't care; I'd go work at Waffle House. I didn't care. I was prepared to walk away. Everything else in my life became so authentic."
The 57-year-old hopes he can inspire others, especially adolescents teenagers, to be proud of who they are, regardless of their sexual orientation.
"I talk to a lot of kids today," added the singer, "and the number one thing I hear is, 'We want our country music, but country music doesn't like us."
Herndon recalled one specific encounter that reminded him that the work he was doing, on and off stage, mattered.
"This mom and dad brought their 14-year-old son back and they introduced me, and they were like, 'Okay, this kid just came out to us, like two weeks ago, and he wanted to come on the show and meet you,'" Herndon recounted. "I got so emotional, I was like, 'Dude, you understand, you got two great parents here right? They brought you back here today.'"
"This is the best part of the story: like any healthy 14-year-old kid, who has parents that love him," he continued. "He looked at me and was like, 'Dude, you can have them.' That made me so emotional, because I was like, you guys are so ahead of the game here."0comments
Got It Covered will include some of Herndon's favorite songs, as well as some of his previous hits, including "Walking In Memphis," "Living In a Moment" and "What Mattered Most." Download "So Small" and order the record at TyHerndon.com.
Photo Credit: Getty Images / Rick Diamond