As Brothers Osborne watched Dan + Shay's video explaining how internal conflict almost sank their band, they thought, "Us, too!"

"There was a time when John and I got to a similar place," TJ Osborne tells Taste of Country.

But, "It's way worse" when you are brothers, John Osborne adds, laughing.

  • Brothers Osborne release their self-titled album on Sept. 15.
  • It includes their current radio single "Nobody's Nobody" and "We Ain't Good at Breaking Up," a collaboration with Miranda Lambert.
  • The duo come from a large family raised in Deale, Md.

The extended Osborne family shares their emotions with emphasis. So, these two men don't hide behind a man-code that prohibits saying "I love you" or showing you care for family. This became especially apparent after the younger Osborne came out as gay in 2021. In the past two-plus years, John has gotten emotional talking about how proud he is of TJ, and he'll admit to being ready to defend TJ at all costs.

"Our family is 100 percent of everything. If they're pissed, it's 100 percent pissed. But when they tell you they love you they mean it 100 percent," John Osborne tells Evan Paul, host of Taste of Country Nights.

Fights? They've had a few. During an interview ahead of the new Brothers Osborne album's release, John and TJ stop short of saying they nearly broke up, but recall stories from their childhood that involve Christmas, boxing gloves and implied permission to beat on one another with more aggression than ever. It's the best of times and the worst of times over there.

"If we could have recreated the video of Dan + Shay sharing about themselves ... all of a sudden they pan to the back and we're just riding in the back seat, or we're the people holding the camera," TJ Osborne jokes.

"Or we're in the backseat like, punching each other," John adds, throwing a right hook at the air.

That aggression doesn't make its way onto the new, 11-song project. In fact, Brothers Osborne is arguably the duo's least aggressive album to date. Synthesizers used on "Ain't Got Time for That," and Gimme Shelter-era Rolling Stone vibes on "Goodbyes Kickin' In" round the edges of a batch of lyrics that are, as a whole, celebratory and encouraging.

"Since our last record, John and I both have really shared a lot about ourselves and both really felt that this is the first time we've really, truly been ourselves with no veil or anything," TJ Osborne says. "When we were able to make the music, we were able to make it in a space where we didn't feel like we needed to avoid any topic or avoid any description of anything."

Related: John Osborne's Suicidal Thoughts Went Deeper Than We Realized

Freedom doesn't always mean cooperation, however. John and TJ didn't timestamp their troubles, but admitted they went to couples therapy over it.

"When two people care a lot about something, it makes your feelings really, really heavy to the point that it kind of gets explosive," TJ explains. "Oddly, when someone doesn't care that's the worse place to be. This is something that was brought to light to us from our therapist."

"We all look at our experiences very close," John adds. "We have our noses on them we're looking at them so close. It takes another person to help you see things from a 10,000-foot perspective."

EMI Records Nashville

On Sept. 28, look for Brothers Osborne and Dan + Shay to battle for (or more likely, quietly discuss) their nomination in the Group/Duo of the Year category at the 2023 People's Choice Country Awards.

In early November, Brothers Osborne will learn if they've been named CMA Vocal Duo of the Year Award winners for the sixth time in eight years.

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LGBTQ+ artists have achieved more visibility in recent years, but they still make up an under-heard, marginalized portion of the genre as a whole. As stigmas lessen and activists work for equality in the genre and beyond, more and more artists are putting out songs that speak specifically to an LGBTQ+ perspective. Here are 20 great songs that tell that story.

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