Shane McAnally could make history for the LGBTQ+ community at the Grammys this week (exclusive)

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Talk about an iconic moment.

Shane McAnally is one of the hidden forces in the industry who's produced and written some of the most well-known songs in country music.

The star has already collected a few Grammys of his own, including two awards for Best Country Song for "Merry Go 'Round" and "Space Cowboy" by fierce queer ally Kacey Musgraves.

During the 65th Grammys in 2023, the board created a new award called Songwriter of the Year. This year, Shane McAnally is nominated in the category and would make history if he were to win since he'd be the first LGBTQ+ recipient of the award.

"It's not even a dream that I had because the award was made up last year! I did hope that songwriters would get this recognition. It felt like a really amazing nod and I'm super proud," McAnally tells The Advocate.

McAnally is beyond grateful to represent the queer community on this large of a platform. Since he's predominantly a country songwriter, he acknowledges that other gay people hoping to pursue their dreams can look up to him as a source of inspiration.

"I never really realized the impact. I've had so much fear in my career. I operated for a long time out of fear. I had to work harder, in my mind. I had to talk different than I maybe wanted to or walk different or present myself differently. [I'm honored] if my place in country music may have helped someone be able to show up and not be so afraid that they didn't fit."

Not only has McAnally made his presence known in Nashville, but he's also successfully tackled Broadway with his Grammy-nominated musical Shucked. He served as one of the songwriters for the show's soundtrack.

The show made a significant impact at last year's Tony Awards as Alex Newell made history for being the first nonbinary person to win a Tony.

"To have had a hand in that or be associated with that historical moment, again, I did not realize the impact. It was such a crazy night... you're going to make history!"

When a songwriter typically wins a Grammy, they never give a speech or stand behind the artist onstage when as the singer receives the trophy.

If McAnally wins Songwriter of the Year, the star would be able to walk up to the microphone all on his own and bask in his own achievements. However, he says his adorable family deserves all the recognition.

"I would really like to thank my husband and my kids. This has been a very telling year. The past few months I've been with them and I never realized how much they have shared me in the last couple years. I didn't realize until we were together all the time... how much I had been gone. I really feel like that award would be theirs as much as it would be mine. They're the most supportive little tribe."

The 66th Grammy Awards will take place Sunday, February 3. Catch the show live on CBS.

Shane McAnally Could Make History By Winning 'Songwriter of the Year' at the Grammys