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    The Black Opry, Nashville-Based Collective, Launches Its Own Label With Debut Single From Black, Queer Artist Jett Holden

    By Chris Willman,


    The Black Opry, an advocacy group and artists’ collective that has promoted showcases for Black country artists in Nashville and other cities, has launched its own label, in conjunction with Thirty Tigers. The first release on the imprint, a single by Jett Holden, is out now, with a debut album to follow in October.

    “Backwood Proclamation,” the love song that is Holden’s new single, features prominent country artists John Osborne and Charlie Worsham as guests, and was co-written by fellow queer singer-songwriter Roger Dale Locklear. The full album, “The Phoenix,” arrives Oct, 4.

    Holly G, the founder of the organization, trumpeted this milestone in the life of the Black Opry, writing on X, “Well, friends, with the help of an amazing team behind the scenes, I pulled it off. I have now *officially* launched a label. We are off to the races. So proud I could cry.”

    Holly G says she came across Holden’s music online, and she was impressed enough to get him a grant to finish the song “Taxidermy,” written about police brutality and what Holden had experienced as a Black, queer man in the South. The grant came from Black country singer and online talk-show personality Rissi Palmer’s Color Me Country Artist Fund.

    Holden thanked Worsham and Osbourne for jumping on “Backwood Proclamation,” saying, “When this song came together and these people I’ve looked up to are jumping onto the track, it’s validating. It feels like they’re giving credibility to a song written by two queer people. It feels so good.” Other artists who make cameos on the forthcoming album include Cassadee Pope and Emily Scott Robinson. Will Hoge produced.

    “The first question Holly asked me was ‘Why do you write music?’,” said Holden, “and I said ‘I write the music I wish I heard when I was growing up.’ If someone hears my music and it makes them feel safe and less alone, it’s done its job, and I’ve done my job…. The title ‘The Phoenix’ represents the resurrection of my career. When Holly found me, when the Black Opry found me, I had quit music. I was done. This whole process pulled me back into music. Everything feels possible now.”

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