Ricky Martin and LeAnn Rimes were among the celebrities who congratulated Ty Herndon on coming out gay last week.

The 52-year-old Herndon publicly announced his sexuality for the first time in an interview with PEOPLE, making him the second openly gay country music artist after close friend Chely Wright.

(Related: Ty Herndon comes out gay.)

In a follow up interview, Herndon told PEOPLE that the positive support “just blew my mind.”

Among those supporting Herndon were Ricky Martin, Kristin Chenoweth, Lance Bass and LeAnn Rimes.

“My mom says I need to send thank-you cards, so I've got a long list!” he said with a laugh.

“My life feels open,” he added. “I feel free, like the weight of the world's been lifted off my shoulders.”

Herndon released his latest studio album, Lies I Told Myself, last year.