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TJ Osborne celebrated his big win at Wednesday night’s annual Country Music Association Awards in the best way! 

Alongside his brother John — who he forms the popular country pair Brothers Osborne with — Osborne took home the trophy for the best vocal duo of 2021, but it wasn’t the acceptance speech that caught all the attention! Before heading on stage to accept the prize, Osborne gave a sweet and very public display of affection to his adorable boyfriend Abi Ventura in the form of a kiss! 

“It’s been a crazy roller coaster of a year for us in so many ways, especially for me emotionally,” TJ said during he and John’s acceptance speech. “To have you all support me, it really does feel like love wins tonight. Thank you.”

“Give this boy a round of applause!” TJ’s brother John added in the speech. “We love this genre, we love the people, we love all of you so much.”

Like Osborne said in his speech, it’s been a whirlwind year for the singer-songwriter. 

In a February interview with Time Magazine, the 36-year-old publicly opened up about his sexuality, saying, “I’m very comfortable being gay. 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.”

Osborne isn’t the only out, queer country star on the scene, his coming out is a major victory for representation in the genre that has a very conservative (and sometimes narrow-minded) reputation. As Vulture noted at the time of his coming out, Osborne was the highest-profile (and the only) gay artist currently signed to a major country label (EMI Nashville). 

Speaking about what his coming out means for the future of his career in country music, Osborne continued: 

“There are times when I think I’ve marginalized this part of me so that I feel better about it and I realize that it is a big part of who I am: The way I think, the way I act, the way I perform. God, think of all the times that we talk about love, and write about love. It’s the biggest thing we ever get to feel. And I’ve kept the veil on.”

“You know that thing—stand for something or you’ll fall for anything?” he said. “That sounds like something someone in country music would say. But if you stand for something and it’s not what they stand for, then they hate it. I’ve done more than I ever thought I would. At this point, my happiness is more valuable than anything else I’d ever be able to achieve.”

Via Out

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