NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Grammy-nominated and gay country singer/songwriter Ty Herndon has released a new track, “So Small.” The latest single from his upcoming album, “Got It Covered,” the song was originally co-written and sung by Carrie Underwood. The track is currently available to stream via Taste of Country.

Herndon chose to record his version of the song as a result of the significant role the song played in his own life. “After I moved back home from Los Angeles to Nashville, I had not made a record for almost a decade,” Herndon shared. “I was having a tough time deciding whether or not I wanted to stay in a business that I loved so much. 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. And it also gave me the courage to start the conversation about my own coming out process.”

In honor of Pride month, Herndon released a re-recording of his 1995 single “What Mattered Most” with the pronouns reversed from the original to reflect Herndon’s true self that fans have come to know since he came out in 2014.

In November of 2014, Herndon was the first major male country artist to publicly come out as gay. Shortly after, he made history when he hosted the first-of-its-kind country music event, titled The Concert for Love and Acceptance. The event, designed to bring attention and support to at-risk youth and acceptance, received national attention. Herndon received an outpouring of support that strengthened his relationship with fans. Since the launch of the event, Herndon has partnered with GLAAD to produce the event each year.

Using his influence for the better good, GLAAD announced that a grant, named after Herndon, was being offered to support young people for their commitment to enhancing LGBTQ inclusion and representation in music. The recipient of the Ty Herndon Rising Stars Grant receives $2,500 to further fund their work and initiatives.

Herndon recently lent his vocals on the tribute track, “Hands.” The single, released through Interscope Records in conjunction with GLAAD, is a musical tribute to the victims of the shooting at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Fla. Herndon was among list of artists, including Mary J. Blige, Jason Derulo, Selena Gomez, Imagine Dragons, Jennifer Lopez, Kacey Musgraves, P!nk, RuPaul, Britney Spears, Gwen Stefani, Meghan Trainor and more, voicing support for the LGBTQ community in the original song. Proceeds from the track benefit Equality Florida Pulse Victims Fund, the LGBT Community Center of Central Florida and GLAAD.


Lainey Millen was formerly QNotes' associate editor, special assignments writer, N.C. and U.S./World News Notes columnist and production director from 2001-2019 when she retired.