PODCAST: Country star's big coming out
BECCY Cole is one of Australia's most successful country musicians and deservedly so, with 10 Golden Guitar Awards (including four Female Artist of the Year awards) to her name.
But while music has featured strongly in Beccy's journey, it is her personal life that is just as remarkable.
Beccy Cole joins Coffee Chat this week to discuss her failed marriage and the roller-coaster of emotions she experienced when coming out as gay on national television.
You can listen to the full Coffee Chats interview with Beccy Cole here:
Matt Collins: You've toured with some of the greatest country musicians from all over the world: Willy Nelson, Kenny Rogers, Glen Campbell and many more, but you said Slim Dusty was the greatest.
What was so great about Slim Dusty for you?
Beccy Cole: There was something about being accepted by him and learning from him.
He really set the benchmark for how popular the genre of country music can be.
He treated everybody the same. He would be the same Slim Dusty he was to the mayor as he was to the guy packing up the chairs after the gig. He showed me you won't get anywhere if you're not real.
MC: You can't fake this stuff can you?
BC: Nah, you can't.
MC: I'd like to turn the focus to your personal life if that's OK. You married your now ex-husband in 1997, Mick Albeck.
BC: That's right.
MC: And divorced pretty much as soon as it started.
MC: Would that be a fair thing to say?
BC: Yeah, it didn't last very long at all.
MC: Did you see the writing on the wall pretty quickly?
BC: Oh, yeah probably. I mean, I was pretty young so these things happen without that wisdom that sets in a bit later.
MC: How old were you?
BC: Um, 22 or 23.
MC: You were just a baby.
BC: (Laughs.) Absolutely. I think you can look back and there's so many reasons why we shouldn't have gotten married but so many reasons why we should've been and still are in each other's lives.
We have a son together, he is now 19.
But sometimes people come in to your life and I think we are very quick to assume that we are supposed to be partners with that person in a romantic way and then you realise oh no, you have another place in my heart.
MC: By then you've got a son and you've got a ring on your finger.
BC: And that's OK.
He worked it out before I did. I don't think I would've left.
He was the one that went "Hey, this isn't working". So he left and I was pretty devastated.
MC: Was that tough for you?
BC: Oh god yeah! I was 25 and holding this brand new baby going, "You can't leave!".
MC: Let me fast forward a little bit, 2012 you came out on national TV to announce you were gay.
BC: Yeah, still am.
MC: When did you have that realisation?
BC: 2012 was when I came out publicly, but I knew back in 1999. I had a six-month old baby when I worked it out.
MC: Pardon me for being naive, but how do you work out something like that?
BC: Well when stuff doesn't run like you think it does, like it does for all your friends...
MC: So why get married to a man?
BC: I completely compressed those feelings. You can fake anything. It wasn't that I was being dishonest, I just didn't know.
MC: These days you are happily married to jazz performer, Libby O'Donovan. In your latest album, Lioness the title track is all about Libby isn't it.
BC: Yeah, it is. The verses are about when I am away from Libby and it feels like my life is falling apart.
All the situations actually happened, including getting an odd request from a swinger couple.