News Round-Up: January 9, 2020

Some news items you might have missed:

• LGBTQ Nation: A priest was removed from ministry after he was caught taking ‘disturbing’ photos of high school wrestlers. A bystander saw the priest taking zoomed-in photos of the young men in their wrestling tights and contacted authorities.

The Advocate: Culture Club frontman Boy George, who was once a pioneer in unconventional gender expression, was called out for  being transphobic after hateful comments regarding respecting people’s pronouns.

NY Daily News: A wacko customer at a Manhattan gay bar mailed a powder-filled envelope with a message reading “It’s called anthrax. Enjoy,” to an employee after he was threatened with a ban from the watering hole, prosecutors charged Monday. Unhinged patron Ameen Keshavjee has allegedly menaced the male employee at Nowhere Bar in the East Village since February. He now faces up to ten years in prison.

Allure Magazine: Emmy Award winner Billy Porter is the first-ever male to grace the cover of Allure Magazine as he stars in their Art of Beauty issue.

• LA Times: Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, who flirted with the idea of running for president but skipped the 2020 campaign, endorsed former Vice President Joe Biden for the Democratic nomination on Thursday.

Arizona Capital Times: Arizona state Senator Sylvia Allen (R) has proposed legislation to remove the word “homosexuality” from all public school teaching materials and to prevent any student below the age of 12 from receiving sex education.

Daily Dog: This beautiful little mama gave birth today to six puppies. How precious is this video?

Pride Music: Jamie Hannah “Sound Of My Youth”

Boy George protege, Jamie Hannah

Since 2017, Jamie Hannah has been working with Benny D, an award winning producer who has worked with artists including Stormzy and Kylie Minogue, to produce his debut E.P which will be released this year.

Brought into the project by Benny D, Boy George has been consistently impressed with Jamie Hannah’s voice, even going as far as saying that he’s never heard a voice like his.

The first single, “Sound of My Youth,” showcases his unforgettably smooth tone as the lyrics share the story of a past relationship that you just can’t seem to forget about, and the memories that continue to haunt you.

Jamie Hannah’s pure and emotive voice perfectly encapsulates the nostalgia and melancholy of the song while the lyrics document the singer’s feelings of ‘drowning’ and loss in a truly emotional way.

Hannah’s classical training at the Royal College of Music is self-evident on the track demonstrating real complexity and sophistication.

The track begins simply with a collection of dreamy, laidback synths before it’s quickly kicked up a notch by the addition of a weighty and pulsating drum beat and Hannah’s commanding vocals.

The track recently hit Top 5 on Music Week’s Commercial Pop chart.

Check it out below, and find more about Hannah on his Instagram here.

Boy George Storms Off The Set Of ‘The Voice Australia’

Boy George stormed off the set of The Voice Australia after a contestant answered a question by the pop star.
Boy George

During the blind auditions for the Australian edition of The Voice, Boy George inquired if a contestant played guitar.

The young singer replied he can play guitar, but “no one really cares if I play guitar.”

The comment caught BG a bit sideways as moments later, the pop star stormed off the set.

When a producer ran after him, the singer yelled back, “Don’t follow me – I’m annoyed.”

The look on the face of the young singer, who clearly didn’t mean to offend anyone, was painful.

Watch below.

First New Music From Culture Club In Nearly 20 Years – “Let Somebody Love You”

Culture Club

Grammy Award-winning Culture Club has dropped its first new single in nearly 20 years in advance of a new album, Life, due for release October 26. Boy George announced the news via Facebook this morning.

The new track, “Let Somebody Love You,” written by singer Boy George, guitarist Roy Hay, bassist Mikey Craig and drummer Jon Moss, has been popular at the band’s recent live concerts. This is the first time its available as a studio track. The song continues the band’s tradition of embracing a classic reggae-infused sound.

“Love is revolution / War and famine too / If you’ve the hunger in your heart / Let somebody love you”

The last single released by the band was all the way back in 1999 with “Cold Shoulder.”

Boy George

Culture Club had planned to release new music in 2015, but the album was eventually shelved with no explanation.

Known for huge hits in the 1980s like “Do You Really Want To Hurt Me” and “Karma Chameleon,” Culture Club has racked up sales of over 150 million albums worldwide despite having released only 5 albums.

The band’s frontman, Boy George, gained worldwide attention for his asexual/androgynous appearance coupled with his gift with a quick quip. In addition to a successful solo career, George has also released successful albums as a DJ.

Listen to the new single, “Let Somebody Love You,” below.

Boy George Reinvents Village People Classic “YMCA” For Aussie Marriage Equality

Boy George, currently serving as a judge on The Voice Australia, has teamed up with YMCA Australia to reinvent the Village People hit, YMCA,” in an effort to shine a spotlight on issues important to Australian youth like marriage equality, mental health and youth unemployment.

But George did pause, initially, in approaching the iconic disco hit.

Via The Daily Telegraph:

“I thought absolutely not. How could you cover that song?” he said. “The thing about covering songs, you have to get inside the song and see if it works and when I started to listen to the lyrics they were weirdly revealing.”

Now, after recording the song as part of the charity organisation’s new campaign, the 56-year-old loves the new, stripped back version. “I started to think, this is going to really work in my shows.”

I always find the idea of slowing down a classic hit in order to mine “new gold” an interesting premise. As we’ve all seen with other covers, not every song benefits from a thoughtful revisit. I agree with BG here, though. The lyrics do have something new to offer, and he’s found something here.

I like 🙂

Watch the music video below.

Boy George Heading To Reality TV

Moving from London to Los Angeles, what’s a Boy to do?

Well, if you’re Boy George, you star in a reality TV show.

BG, his manager Paul Kemsley plan to team with Bunim/Murray Productions for a “doc-series” chronicling the big move across the pond.

“If Marge Simpson met Dolly Parton and went dancing with Ziggy Stardust, it wouldn’t come close to what you’ll see,” Boy George said in announcing the project.

“Why now — why not? Why me — who else?”

Shooting is slated to begin this summer.

Boy George Tells Larry King He’d Still Perform In Indiana

Iconic pop music star Boy George tells Larry King on an upcoming appearance that despite the institution of the ‘Religious Freedom Restoration Act’ in Indiana, he’d perform in the state to keep his gay and lesbian fans happy.

“I always believe it’s important to bring your music to the people who love you,” says George.

Look for Boy George on Larry King Now this Wednesday, April 8th at 2pm EST/11am PST on www.ora.tv/larrykingnow.

Culture Club Cancels UK & North American Tours Due To Boy George’s “Serious” Vocal Issues

Boy George announced via Facebook that he is “devastated” over the news that “serious” vocal problems dictate that Culture Club’s UK & North American tours must be cancelled, at least for now.

After months of issues with his voice – which he had assumed were related to fatigue – George discovered that he has developed a polyp on one of his chords which had hemorrhaged. When this happens, one chord is larger than the other and they vibrate at different speeds which can create a callous.

Clearly, this isn’t healthy.  Boy George went on to write:

‘I never thought to check my throat because I have spent a lifetime just getting on with it,’ George writes. ‘I have been advised by doctors that to continue singing with this polyp would further damage my voice and could cause irreparable damage. ‘It’s a risk I cannot take.’

‘I feel gutted to be letting people down. Such support makes my decision so much harder. To say I am devastated barely touches how I feel.’

In the mid 90s I actually went through the exact same issue while performing on Broadway in HELLO, DOLLY! The good news is the condition is treatable, and with the proper treatment and vocal therapy can be good as new in a few months.

Thinking best thoughts to Boy George.