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TJ Osborne kisses boyfriend at 2021 CMA Awards in historic moment: 'Love wins tonight'

'He's very, very sweet. He's my boyfriend,  [and] he is a cutie,' TJ said of his beau.

TJ Osborne kisses boyfriend at 2021 CMA Awards in historic moment: 'Love wins tonight'
Cover Image Source: YouTube/ABC

When Brothers Osborne took home the award for Vocal Duo of the Year during the 2021 CMA Awards in Nashville, Tennessee, on Wednesday, multiple reasons made the night extra special for the duo. While it marked the fourth time they've taken the trophy home, it was the first time lead singer TJ Osborne—who publicly came out as gay in February—attended the event with his boyfriend Abi Ventura. Sharing a tender moment with his beau before he and his brother John took the stage to accept the award, TJ celebrated the win by kissing Ventura.


"I tell you, every time we have won this award, it has never, ever ceased to be extremely shocking," TJ Osborne said as he accepted his prize, reports CNN. "It's been a crazy roller coaster of a year for us in so many ways, especially for me emotionally," Osborne said. "And to have you all support me, it really does feel like love wins tonight. Thank you." Speaking to ET's Rachel Smith backstage after Wednesday's big show, TJ admitted that he'd initially contemplated whether or not he should bring Ventura to the event. "He's very, very sweet. He's my boyfriend, [and] he is a cutie," he said.


"I was like, 'I hope this doesn't make anyone uncomfortable, but this is how I feel.' I love this person, and I want to be open in every way," TJ added. "Hopefully [it can] show people that they also don't need to hide or alter themselves in any way." While the 36-year-old was ultimately excited to appear with his boyfriend at the event, he revealed that Ventura still had reservations. "He was probably more nervous than anybody and he probably felt incredibly uncomfortable," he said. After the win, the Brothers Osborne took the stage to perform 'Younger Me.' TJ shared some more heartfelt words before kicking off the performance.


"For many years I would watch this show, year after year, and I always thought how incredible it'd be and I'd dream of being here on this stage," he said. "And there were so many things that were so many hurdles for me. And I always truthfully felt like it would never be possible because of my sexuality to be here. And I just wish, I wish, my younger me could see me now." According to AP, although TJ was open about his sexuality with his close friends and family, he had apprehensions about announcing it publicly. He finally came out in an interview with TIME earlier this year.


"I'm very comfortable being gay," TJ shared in the interview. "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." Despite being comfortable with his sexuality, he acknowledged that more conservative country music audiences might not be happy with his coming out. "People will ask, 'Why does this even need to be talked about?' and personally, I agree with that," he said of discussing his sexuality. "But for me to show up at an awards show with a man would be jaw-dropping to people. It wouldn't be like, 'Oh, cool!' I want to get to the height of my career being completely who I am. I mean, I am who I am, but I've kept a part of me muted, and it's been stifling."







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