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11/20/2014 01:54 pm ET Updated Feb 02, 2016

Country Singer Ty Herndon Comes Out As Gay

Country star Ty Herndon has come out as a "proud and happy gay man," People is reporting.

The 51-year-old singer, who is best known for hits like "What Mattered Most" and "It Must Be Love," also told Entertainment Tonight in a new interview that the biggest lie he ever told himself was "that I couldn't be gay and be in country music."

"I've done a lot of work around forgiveness with people that I've hurt and people I've not been honest with because of my sexuality," Herndon told People.

Herndon, who has been married and divorced to women twice, also said that he is currently in "an awesome relationship" with his partner, Matt, and hopes to tie the knot again.

He said the couple, who are devout Christians, weren't concerned about how to reconcile their faith with their sexuality: "We get to choose who we love, and that includes God, and He loves us back."

Rumors about Herndon's sexuality began to surface in 1995 after the singer was arrested for allegedly exposing himself to an undercover police officer. The charges were later dropped in a plea bargain, according to reports.

From the looks of the ET clip, Herndon is mostly tight-lipped about the alleged incident, noting he was on drugs at the time and that the specifics were "really a huge blur."

Herndon now joins singer Chely Wright, who came out in 2010, and Steve Grand ("All-American Boy") on country music's roster of out performers.

CORRECTION: An earlier version of this article reported that Wright came out in 2012. She actually came out in 2010, as People reported.

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