Country music singer Beccy Cole revealed she is gay in a surprise announcement on ABC program Australian Story.

Appearing on the program on Monday night, Cole said she had avoided coming out for years, fighting to keep her sexuality secret while pursuing a successful career in country music.

“It’s definitely uncomfortable if you’ve got a big part of yourself, if such an important part of yourself, is a secret and kept inside,” the nine-time Golden Guitar winner told the program.

Fellow country musician and best friend Kasey Chambers told the program: “She’s always felt like she’s holding something back from everyone.”

Cole revealed she found out she was gay after her marriage broke down in 1999.

“I think that moment, that realisation for me was like putting on a pair of glasses and being able to see clearly for the first time,” she said.

Cole said she had remained in the closet because of fears about how her fans would react to her sexuality.

“I was extremely worried about people finding out from an audience point of view,” she said. “I thought people wouldn’t want to come and see me.”

However, Cole says that in the end she knew she needed to come out for her 13-year-old son.

“I guess I do feel like it’s time to tell the world that I’m gay,” she said.

“I mean it’s something that I feel like I haven’t really hidden it, but yeah there does feel like the time, this is who I am, this is the rest of who I am”.

Poster Girl by Beccy Cole.

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