Ty Herndon Says He Hopes 'God or the Gun' Inspires Fans to 'Choose the Light' — Watch the Video

Herndon's newest studio album Jacob is set for release on Friday

Ty Herndon is opening up about the time he was faced with a choice of life or death in his new song.

On Thursday, PEOPLE is exclusively premiering the music video for Herndon's newest single "God or the Gun" off his upcoming album Jacob. Meanwhile, the country star opens up about the "powerful" moment he wrote it — and how far he's come since his near-suicide in 2020.

"When we began writing this album, we didn't necessarily intend for it to chronicle everything I had just been through, but it just came through in the writing and soon we knew we had something really special on our hands," Herndon, 60, says. "I wrote 'God or the Gun' with Jamie Floyd, Erik Halbig and Hector Montenegro — and when we were done, we just sat on the floor and stared at one another — and did a little crying too. It wasn't lost on us that we were sitting on the very floor in my apartment where I nearly took my own life. It was a powerful moment for all of us."

In the end, Herndon's goal was to create something that others could resonate with and feel inspired by.

Ty Herndon Debuts Music Video for God or the Gun
Ty Herndon. Ty Herndon/YouTube

"In all of our lives, we come to those moments when we have to make really hard choices — this one was about whether to live or die for me — and thankfully I chose to live," the "What Mattered Most" singer says. "I know that specific situation will resonate with so many people, but I also hope folks will think of it as a metaphor for all those times when we have to choose between darkness and light and inspire them to choose the light."

In the music video, Herndon appears inside a church with sunlight beaming in through large windows — making him appear in an angel-like state. As different shots inside the church pan through, Herndon is smiling and has a look of relief as he sings along to the inspirational lyrics.

"Is it God or the gun/Staring down the barrel looking up/You only get to pick one/I prayed until my heart was numb/There was an angel making a phone call," he passionately sings. "The living room floor's where I got my miracle/God or the gun/I took my hand off the trigger/A whisper said I wasn't done."

Ty Herndon Debuts Music Video for God or the Gun
Ty Herndon. Ty Herndon/YouTube

Last month, Herndon opened up to PEOPLE exclusively about his career, journey with addiction, coming out of the closet and his near suicide in 2020.

Herndon hit bottom on New Year's Eve 2020, while holding 27 Ambien tablets in his hand. "I'd been up for four days," he told PEOPLE. He'd relapsed on crystal meth. "I was at peace. I was so calm." Herndon doesn't know how he didn't take the pills that morning. All he knows is, his phone made a call to a friend. He says he didn't make it. "Angels," he whispered.

"I've surrendered," he said at the time. "I've learned that's the only way I can change my ending."

Now, with the release of Jacob on Friday and Herndon's story out for the world to see, he says he feels a weight lifted off his shoulders — and the support he's received is unmatched.

"It's been tremendous, and I've heard from so many people through social media and phone calls and texts that they identify with my story or they have friends or family members who have struggled," the "Living in the Moment" singer says. "That's why I told my story, and that's what I'm focused on now through the release of this album, my tour, my new podcast, and the work that I do through my Foundation For Love & Acceptance to support LGBTQ youth and mental fitness."

RELATED VIDEO: Ty Herndon Remembers Being Outed as Gay in Church at 13

Meanwhile, Herndon says recording Jacob served as a form of therapy, so he's hoping to return the favor.

"It's the first time I've been involved with writing as much of an album — I co-wrote nine out of 11 songs on the record — and I think that's why this album is so personal and autobiographical. It has been a big part of my healing and continues to be," he says.

"I hope it can help others too, and that's what I'm really focused on now. We have a new podcast starting in July with my partners at Pivotal Moments Media that's focused on sharing stories of healing and recovery. At the end of the day, this album is about hope, optimism, and joy — and that's what's really important to me to share — that we can go through challenges that nearly break us but find joy and healing on the other side."

He concludes, "I'm doing better now than ever. This is a story with a happy ending."

"God or the Gun" is out now.

Related Articles