Country music artist Billy Gilman came out gay in a YouTube video released Wednesday.

The 26-year-old Gilman made his announcement on the same day as Ty Herndon's coming out, making him the third openly gay country music artist after Herndon and Chely Wright.

“It's taken me a good many weeks to figure out how I was to approach this video that you're watching right now. But today, actually, a fellow country artist and friend made it easier for me to make this video,” Gilman said.

Gilman holds the distinction of being the youngest artist ever to have a Top 40 country hit with the 2000 release of One Voice.

Gilman said that rumors about his sexuality have dragged on his career.

“Being a gay male country artist is not the best thing [for your career],” Gilman said. “If people don't like your music, that's one thing, but after having sold over five million records … I knew something was wrong when no major label wanted to sit down and have a meeting and listen to the new stuff. I did a showcase in Nashville and no major label showed.”

Gilman, who lives in Rhode Island, added: “I know some people won't agree with this, and that's okay. To each his own. But it was time for me to be honest.” (The video is embedded on this page. Visit our video library for more videos.)