There once was a time when people thought this country hitmaker could be the next Garth Brooks YouTube

The week before Ty Herndon released his debut single, “What Mattered Most,” in February 1995, nobody knew who he was. The week after, people were calling him the next Garth Brooks.

The first thing Ty did on the very first day of his career was go out and break Tracy Lawrence’s record for “most adds in one week,” as 133 country radio stations began playing his song. Things only got better from there as “What Mattered Most” continued its ride all the way to the No. 1 spot by the end of May.

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Things can never be easy though, can they?

In June of that same year, Ty was arrested in Texas for exposing himself in a wooded area to an undercover police officer. He struggled to overcome the incident and was successful to a degree, though his momentum was considerably slowed and the promise of becoming the next Garth Brooks was practically gone.

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In 2014, Ty appeared on Entertainment Tonight and came out as a gay man. Though twice married, he proclaimed both wives were aware of his sexuality, but he had asked them to keep the secret for the sake of his career.

Many speculate Chris Carmack’s character Will Lexington on the ABC-TV show “Nashville” is loosely based on Ty.

Based in Chicago but often in Nashville, Ken Churilla is a contributor for Rare Country. Follow him @KenChurilla and join the conversation @RareCountry.
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