Chely Wright & Lauren Blitzer
AfterEllen: Why is it important for you to be here tonight?
Chely Wright: I’m here because Linda Perry asked me to be here. We’ve developed a good friendship over the past year and we’ve written some songs together. I know this is a big deal of hers [and] when you think back 20-30 years to some very strong women in music I can’t think of anyone more prominent than Linda Perry and Cyndi Lauper.
AE: Do you think women — gay or straight — have it tougher than men in the music business?
CW: When I started out making records in the early ‘90s, Loretta Lynn was a big hero of mine and became a mentor and we talked about that. She was one of the biggest pioneers. She was one of the first women to write her own material and have hit records.
We were talking about the good ol’ boy ways of entertainment and record making and show business, if you will, and she said “Honey, it’s harder for a girl. We have to get up earlier and stay up later but don’t fixate on it. If you get fixated on that you’ll get mad and you won’t prosper.” She said, “You can’t change everything. Just get in there and get done what you can get done” and I really appreciated that advice from her early on. If you focus on “Oh, it’s harder for me,” you’ll become a bitter, angry person and that’s not my style.
AE: The press has a heavy on eye on you both as you plan your upcoming wedding. Is there a pressure knowing there are so many keeping tabs on the event?
Lauren Blitzer: It’s tough when people ask “Did you get this? Did you get that?” [Laughs]
CW: That’s stressful when people point out, “At this point in wedding planning, you should have this, this and this” but as far as the fans and people looking, I’ve been a public person for the greater part of my life so I don’t mind it. It’s new for Lauren. [to Lauren] Does it bother you?
CW: She handles it so well. She’s a published author so she’s experienced this before but I will tell you this: I do feel a great responsibility as a role model for young people and not just LGBT people — young people in general. I want all young people to get out there and take the bull by its tail and swing it around and have fun. Honor themselves, keep their heads on straight.
But, no, I don’t feel a lot of added pressure. It’s always been who I was.
AE: Have you ever sung “True Colors” in concert? I would imagine you could sing the hell out of it!
CW: I never have but I’ve sung it at the top of my lungs at my house or in the car. I almost recorded “Time After Time” for my Lifted Off The Ground record. Maybe I should revisit that, what do you think?
LB: Maybe we should talk to Cyndi.