U.K. pop idol Will Young comes out

BY Advocate.com Editors

March 12 2002 12:00 AM ET

Will Young, a U.K. pop singer who set a record with the fastest-selling debut single of all time, came out in the British press on Sunday. "I feel it's time to tell my fans I'm gay," Young told News of the World. "It's totally no big deal, just part of who I am. For me, it's normal and nothing to be ashamed about." He also added, "I'm sure this will not come as a surprise to many people, although I've always been discreet and I'm not a campaigner when it comes to my sexuality."

Young was discovered when he won Pop Idol, a reality series similar to Making the Band in the United States, which set out to find a new pop star. His first single, the double-A-sided "Anything Is Possible"/"Evergreen," was released on February 25 and sold more than 1 million copies in the first week, eclipsing the record held by the 1984 Band Aid fund-raising single "Do They Know It's Christmas?" Young's single remains at the top of the British charts, and observers are still waiting to see if his public disclosure of his sexuality affects sales.

Young told reporters that "media pressure" led him to discuss his private life, and there were reports that some former boyfriends were planning to sell their stories to the British tabloids if Young had not come forward himself. "I have never made any secret of this to my family and friends," Young said. "I don't wish to talk about it any further, and I hope that people will respect that, as my private life is my private life."

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