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26 Moments That Make Madonna the Most Pro-Gay Pop Ally of All Time

Today is the release of Madonna's 13th studio album, Rebel Heart.

It's also the 33rd year she has been pushing out records, making political and social statements, and generally "causing a commotion" as one of her early tracks so aptly described it.

Noh8madonnaPart of that commotion was to challenge notions of sexuality and gender, and to battle social oppression. As her music evolved, so did her message, but I think you'll see that in the 26 examples to follow, she has always been there for the LGBT community, more than any other artist of her caliber.

Check out the moments that make her a gay rights icon,
AFTER THE JUMP...

Said Madonna in an early interview for her 1992 documentary Truth or Dare (which is clipped in the video above):

"What I think to be a big problem in the United States and that's homophobia - there's a big section in [Truth or Dare] devoted to that....These things exist in life. I'm only presenting life to people. I'm not presenting anything that probably they're not exposed to in everyday life but maybe they don't want to deal with it. You know, if you keep putting something in somebody's face eventually maybe they can come to terms with it."

BurgoyneAt the start of her professional career ten years earlier, the world was facing a new plague, and the devastation it would wreak in the years ahead was unfathomable. Madonna was deeply affected by it.

She talked about it in an interview with Towleroad last night (read the full interview HERE):

When I first came up, the whole AIDS epidemic was starting, and the gay community that I experienced from the beginning of my career was mostly — and overwhelmingly — concerned with staying alive. And, also, I felt really aware of the preciousness of life and time. The gay community and people who were HIV-positive were treated so badly, and I was very disturbed by things. But I also saw a lot of love and connection in the gay community at that time.

Like all progress that is made in all marginalized communities or groups, I think after time goes by and you earn certain rights or you break through certain barriers, you could sometimes, maybe, take it for granted what you have now that you didn’t have before. And then that would lead to a certain lack of community, in a way, caring in a way, that I saw before.

Madonna saw several of her mentors and friends (like Martin Burgoyne, pictured) fall to the disease and used her concerts and interviews as forums to combat the stigmatization and myths surrounding HIV and AIDS. So she spoke up. Many, many times.

BmOther times she fought homophobia by creating visibility for gay people in ways only she could — through performance and video, much of it driven by her understanding that to shock people was a way to generate headlines. Call it selfish, but it still had the end result of putting images in the media that were not there before — images of gay sexuality and power.

She has spoken about how her interest in combating oppression grew over the course of her career:

"I'm aware of sexism, I'm aware of racism, I'm aware of homophobia. I'm aware of all these things.When I started out I didn't go 'okay these are all these things, these subjects that I want to tackle, that I want to make a change about.' But that's sort of the way my life's gone and it's a responsibility that fell in my lap that I actually welcome."

She also spoke about outing and the power of people coming out of the closet (see clip above):

"It's an explosive issue. On the one hand I can see their point of view, the people that want to out people, in saying 'If you people in powerful positions would come out and say that they're gay then the masses or the people that don't understand or the people who have prejudices against homosexuals would get rid of their stereotypes that gay people are perverts or whatever....On the other hand, the other side of the argument is I'll come out when I'm ready to come out...People do have the right to say what they want to say. It's unfortunate that there aren't more outspoken people on gay rights that are in powerful positions. And it's unfortunate that saying somebody's gay is such a frightening thing in the world today, that it's such a frightening concept."

Speaking up for gay rights is not just using the power of the microphone but showing and telling.

Madonna has done much of it over the course of her long and storied career.

Check out the moments that make her a gay rights icon,
AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "26 Moments That Make Madonna the Most Pro-Gay Pop Ally of All Time" »


John Legend and Sam Smith Team Up for Charity in Stirring 'Lay Me Down' Duet: VIDEO

Lay me down

To mark the upcoming Red Nose Day, a British charity event taking place this Friday where residents wear clown noses to help raise awareness and money for charity, Sam Smith and John Legend have teamed up to record a duet cover of the British crooner's hit song "Lay Me Down."

Rolling Stone reports:

Red noseSmith and Legend will perform their duet live for the first and only time on March 13th at the live Comic Relief – Face the Funny special at London's Palladium. The pair also filmed a video for their collaboration, which juxtaposes Smith and Legend recording the track at a Los Angeles studio with images from one of the many African communities that the Comic Relief program benefits. Smith and Legend will forego all royalties from the track, with Universal donating all profits to Comic Relief.

"'Lay Me Down' holds a very special place in my heart. Not only did I perform it at the Brits, I'm now going to perform it live on the Red Nose Day show with the extremely talented John Legend, which is so exciting," Smith said in a statement. "I recently visited a Comic Relief funded project in my hometown, which supports the young LGBT community in London. I'm extremely proud that my single will help raise money for projects like this and many others in the U.K. and across Africa."

Watch the music video AFTER THE JUMP...and to find out how you can donate to the cause visit www.comicrelief.com/rednoseday

Continue reading "John Legend and Sam Smith Team Up for Charity in Stirring 'Lay Me Down' Duet: VIDEO" »


Tom Hanks, Justin Bieber and Carly Rae Jepsen Have a Dance Celebration in 'I Really Like You' - VIDEO

Hanks

The music video for Carly Rae Jepsen's über-catchy "I Really Like You" has dropped, featuring a lip-syncing, Tinder using, emoji loving Tom Hanks and a brief appearance by Justin Bieber during the video's closing dance celebration in the streets.

It's totally bizarre...and totally amazing.

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Continue reading "Tom Hanks, Justin Bieber and Carly Rae Jepsen Have a Dance Celebration in 'I Really Like You' - VIDEO" »


MUSIC VIDEO PREMIERE: Jimmy Somerville Will Have You On Your Feet With 'Some Wonder'

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Towleroad is happy to present the U.S. premiere of "Some Wonder", the new video from pop icon Jimmy Somerville's forthcoming album Homage, set for release on March 10.

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

Said Somerville of the album: “I've finally made the disco album I always wanted to and never thought could. If I was 15 again I'd buy it, sit on my bed, slowly open the gate-fold, slide out the vinyl, place it on the turntable then jump off the bed and imagine someone just passed me a tambourine…I'd be in heaven!  The horns, the strings, the bass, the guitars, the drums, the backing vocals and the melody….the escape. So open your ears embrace the groove and pay homage to an all too easily derided sound ... I LOVE Disco!"

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Continue reading "MUSIC VIDEO PREMIERE: Jimmy Somerville Will Have You On Your Feet With 'Some Wonder'" »


NEW MUSIC: Brightly, Screaming Females, Black Honey, Bernard + Edith, Loyle Carner And Eurovision News

Brightly Oh Infinity

New Music is brought to you weekly by Deadly Music!, which covers mostly indie/alternative music as well as electronica, ambient/modern classical, pop and anything really, really good.

Most tracks are available on a Soundcloud playlist, some of them on a Spotify playlist....both of which are embedded at the end of this post.

You can sign up for weekly updates from Deadly Music! at the end of this post.

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Brightly: “Keep Me Close”

Brightly is an indie pop act from Melbourne, Australia.

Taken from forthcoming album Oh, Infinity, “Keep Me Close” is a beautiful acoustic love song which was written by band member Charlie Gleeson “about homophobia, love, and my boyfriend…after a year of some pretty horrific homophobic attacks throughout the world.”

 

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Screaming Females: Rose Mountain

Screaming-females-456-280211New Jersey indie rock trio Screaming Females return with their sixth studio album Rose Mountain, released last week on Don Giovanni.

Lead track “Hopeless” opens with an unnerving piano intro leading to a pared back alt rock sound before launching into 30 seconds of glorious shouty grunge rock.

The video was shot over the course of several freezing winter nights and the blood splatters on the pick guard are apparently 100 percent real as singer/guitarist Marissa Paternoster played until her fingers split open. As you do…

 

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Listen to new tracks by Black Honey, Bernard + Edith and Loyle Carner, along with a couple of Eurovision entries, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "NEW MUSIC: Brightly, Screaming Females, Black Honey, Bernard + Edith, Loyle Carner And Eurovision News" »


Steve Grand Talks About Debut Album 'All-American Boy', His Desire to Be a 'Uniter': VIDEO

Grand

Steve Grand, who catapulted to success on the heels of his super-viral "All-American Boy" video (now closing in on 4 million views), dropped an EPK this week talking about his upcoming album of the same name, which he has been working on since and is released on March 24.

"What really made a difference for me was the people who would write in," Grand says of his romantic clip about the guy that got away. "That made me realize that yes this was why I did this. To connect people, and to connect with people. Thousands of letters and emails were coming in at the time..."

He adds:

“So while people say this is no big deal anymore. Who cares? You know who cares are the kids that are really struggling with this. The kids who feel like they would still rather be dead than live life as a gay person. I’m thinking about them all the time when I’m doing these things. Because deep down we really all just want to loved, we want to experience love, we want to give love, we want to take in love, and we want to feel valued and understood...

...That's all you could hope for as an artist, as someone who lives to be a uniter."

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Steve Grand Talks About Debut Album 'All-American Boy', His Desire to Be a 'Uniter': VIDEO" »


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