Gospel artist and preacher Anthony ‘Tonex’ Williams topped the charts in 2004 with his Grammy-nominated album ‘Out The Box,’ but earlier this year, the singer was not only out the box, but out of the closet.

Tonex tells The Grio, “That’s the quintessential difference,  to first struggle with it and then to know that that’s the least of who you are.” The singer adds, “That’s a portion that’s actually technically private, but because we live in such a repressed society–particularly in the African American church and congregation–those type of topics seem to keep surfacing.”

The artist shares he felt shunned by his peers, experiencing separation and loneliness.

An acclaimed artist whose phone never stopped ringing, suddenly had no calls.

Tonex reveals he was recently booked to perform on season three of BET’s ‘Sunday Best.’ But this performance never happened. “The day of the event, I get a call and they mysteriously no longer needed my services after the network had already approved it,” according to Tonex.

The cancellation was not so shocking to Tonex who received his share of career backlash. “That lets me know it’s not that I am going to stop singing gospel, but that I am going to present the gospel on my own terms.”

When The Grio contacted BET, the network said, “The show was over-booked which resulted in the cancellation of Tonex’s performance.”

Do you think BET canceled Tonex’s performance because of his sexuality? You be the judge!

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