Since releasing his debut album, What Mattered Most, in 1995, Ty Herndon has earned chart-topping hits such as “It Must Be Love,” “Living in a Moment” and “What Mattered Most.”
He’s also weathered a decades-long struggle with crystal meth, had multiple relapses, and nearly took his own life, according to an interview Herndon did with People. During that time, he also became the first male solo country artist to publicly come out as gay, in 2014.
Herndon told People that he was introduced to crystal meth at age 20.
“It was given to me. I ended up not being in control of anything,” Herndon told the outlet, adding, “There was some sexual abuse that happened, that were against my will. I’m not going to say a lot about that right now, because it’s still a work in progress for me.
“Crystal meth has been a pandemic of my soul,” he added. “It’s been a destruction of my brain. It’s given me some of the ugliest nightmares that I could never even describe.”
His struggles worsened on New Year’s Eve in 2020, after he’d relapsed on crystal meth. Herndon recalls sitting in his apartment, holding 27 Ambien tablets.
“I’d been up for four days,” he said. “The windows were duct-taped. There was not a stitch of daylight in my apartment. … I was at peace. I was so calm.”
Herndon told the outlet that he didn’t take the pills, because his phone called a friend — though Herndon says he doesn’t remember making that phone call. He credits that call to “angels” and soon returned to rehab, where he focused on continuing to heal. He was also diagnosed as bipolar last year.
On his upcoming album, Jacob, out July 15, Herndon pulls from his journey on songs such as the joyous, hopeful “Til You Get There.” He notes that the album title is derived from the biblical story of Jacob.
“He took his biggest challenge and made it his biggest blessing,” Herndon says.