Osborne Brothers singer-guitarist TJ Osborne got visibly emotional on Sunday night as he and his real brother John won their first-ever Grammy Award.
Last year, TJ became the first male artist signed to a major country label to come out as gay. He reflected on that experience in the song “Younger Me,” which won the Grammy for Best Country Duo/Group Performance.
As the Osborne brothers took the stage to accept their award, TJ made it clear that he considers his band’s victory a deeply personal triumph.
“I never thought I would be able to make music professionally because of my sexuality,” he told the crowd. “I certainly never thought it would be here on stage to accept a Grammy after doing something that I thought was going to change my life, and potentially in a very negative way.”
TJ, who appeared to be holding back tears as he spoke, also offered a shout out to boyfriend Abi Ventura before concluding his remarks.
Watch the Osborne brothers win their first Grammy Award below.
“Here I am tonight, not only to accept this Grammy Award with my brother, who I love so much, but I’m here with a man that I love and who loves me back,” he said. “I don’t know what I did to be so lucky.”
Maryland native TJ first addressed his sexuality in a February 2021 interview with Time magazine. Although he’s been with his friends and family for years, he said he feels he owes his fans to live openly as his authentic self.
Although Nashville is home to a growing subset of artists and personalities who identify as LGBTQ, TJ’s announcement drew instant praise from fans and advocacy groups given that the country is still seen as a gender conservative.
Appearing on Apple Music Country’s “Trailblazers Radio With Fancy Hagood” last month, TJ said living his truth still felt like “incredible relief” a year later.
“I kind of lived with these little fears every day for years,” he said at the time. “I think I was also so excited to be freed from that burden.”