Winter Wind Concerts welcomes American country music singer and activist Richell Rene "Chely" Wright on February 23, 2020. Music begins at The Depot, 200 South Jones, at 7:30 pm.
On the strength of her debut album in 1994, the Academy of Country Music (ACM) named Chely Wright Top New Female Vocalist in 1995. Wright's first Top 40 country hit came in 1997 with "Shut Up and Drive". Two years later, her fourth album yielded a number one single - the title track "Single White Female”.
As of 2010, Wright's previous seven albums and 19 singles released had sold over 1,500,000 copies and 10,000,000 digital impressions in the United States, charted more than fifteen singles on the country charts, and earned a gold album certification. She has written songs that have been recorded by Brad Paisley, Richard Marx, Indigo Girls, Mindy Smith and Clay Walker.
On May 4, 2010, Wright simultaneously released her memoir, the LAMDA nominated “Like Me,” becoming one of the first major country music performers to publicly come out as lesbian, and “Lifted Off the Ground,” her first album of new songs since 2005. In television appearances and an autobiography, she cited among her reasons for publicizing her homosexuality a concern with bullying and hate crimes toward gays, particularly gay teenagers, and the damage to her life caused by "lying and hiding”.
In 2016, Wright released her eighth studio album, “I Am the Rain.” The album, which has roots in Americana, was produced by Joe Henry, features collaborations with Emmylou Harris, Rodney Crowell and The Milk Carton Kids, and has drawn comparisons to Carole King's Tapestry. It entered the Billboard country chart at 13, the second highest debut of her career. It was also her first appearance on the Americana album chart, where it reached number 9.
A new EP titled Revival was released in May 2019. Wright previewed the first track, "Say the Word", through Rolling Stone Country on April 23. On August 10, 2019, Wright made her return to the Grand Ole Opry stage where she and Brad Paisley had performed their joint shows for the Opry’s 75th Anniversary (televised by CBS and nominated for Vocal Event of the Year at the 35th Annual CMA Awards.) Wright, now 48, had gone more than nine years after coming out without an invitation to again play the hallowed stage.
Chely Wright comes to Norman, and the intimate listening room atmosphere of the Depot, as part of a nationwide tour promoting Revival. Don’t miss this opportunity to see and hear her up close.
The Depot is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization with a mission to create and present excellent and innovative fine arts programs for the enrichment and education of the community.
Winter Wind Concerts are made possible in part by the City of Norman Parks and Recreation Department and by grants from the Oklahoma Arts Council and the Norman Arts Council. Contributors include: Cindy Merrick - Therapy in Motion; Hugh & Keri Young; Skye Diers - Gingerbread Nursery School; Bruce & Trisha Bunce; Tom McAuliffe - Don Cies; and The Montford Inn. Friends are: EB Dancer; Danna Primm; Bob Schlegel; Jennifer Bell & Curtis Ensler; and Lazy Circles Brewing.