Tag Archives: Pride Anthem

Pride Anthem 1980 - The Story of "I'm Coming Out" sung by Diana Ross

Pride Anthem 1980 – The Story of “I’m Coming Out” sung by Diana Ross

In 1979, Diana Ross commissioned Chic founders Nile Rodgers and Bernard Edwards to create material for a new album after taking her daughters to see the band in concert.  Rodgers got the idea for “I’m Coming Out” after noticing three different drag queens dressed as Diana Ross at a Gay/Drag/Trans New York club called the GG Barnum Room that had a trapeze with flyers soaring over the dance floor. 

Thus, ever since the song has bee interpreted as a celebration of lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender, identity and the encouragement of self-disclosure.

#Pride Anthem 1998 – BELIEVE by Cher

“Believe” debuted as the lead single on October 19, 1998. “Believe” was written by Brian Higgins, Stuart McLennen, Paul Barry, Steven Torch, Matthew Gray, Timothy Powell and Cher, and was produced by Mark Taylor and Brian Rawling. “Believe” departed from Cher’s pop rock style of the time, adopting an upbeat dance-pop style. It featured a pioneering use of the audio processing software Auto-Tune to distort Cher’s vocals, which was widely imitated and became known as the “Cher effect”. The lyrics describe empowerment and self-sufficiency after a painful breakup. Harkening back to an earlier PRIDE Anthem, by Gloria Gaynor: “I Will Survive.” 20 years earlier.

TRIVIA: The song, recorded and released in 1998, peaked at number one in 21 countries worldwide.[On January 23, 1999, it reached the Top 40 on the Billboard Hot 100 and reached number one on the chart on March 13, making Cher the oldest female artist (at the age of 52) to perform this feat.[Cher also set the record for the longest gap between number-one singles on the Hot 100; there was a gap of 33 years and 7 months between her singles “I Got You Babe” and “Believe” reaching number one.[

Ladies, Gentlemen, and Whoever you choose to be: Cher.

Library of Congress' National Registry Selects Sylvester's "You Make Me Feel" For Preservation.

#PRIDE2022 – “You Make Me Feel” by Sylvester – Biography and Videos

Image result for Sylvester james

Sylvester James, Jr. better known as just Sylvester, was an openly gay disco and soul singer-songwriter. Known for his flamboyant appearance Sylvester was responsible for a string of hit singles in the late 1970’s and became known in the United States under the moniker of the “Queen of Disco.”

Born in Watts, Los Angeles on September 6, 1947, Sylvester developed a love of singing through the gospel choirs of his Pentecostal church. Leaving the congregation after being persecuted for his homosexuality, he was an early founder of a group of black cross-dressers and trans women known as The Disquotays, who disbanded in 1970. Moving to San Francisco, he embraced the counterculture and joined drag troupe The Cockettes, eventually producing solo shows heavily influenced by female blues and jazz singers like Billie Holiday and Josephine Baker. During their critically panned tour of New York City, Sylvester left the Cockettes to focus on his solo career.

Fronting Sylvester and his Hot Band, he released two commercially unsuccessful albums on Blue Thumb Records in 1973. Gaining new backing singers in the form ofTwo Tons O’ Fun and Jeanie Tracy, he obtained a recording contract with Harvey Fuqua of Fantasy Records. His first solo album, Sylvester (1977), was a moderate success, and was followed by acclaimed disco album Step II (1978), which spawned the hit singles “You Make Me Feel (Mighty Real)” and “Dance (Disco Heat).” He recorded four more albums, including a live album, with Fantasy Records before signing to Megatone Records, the dance-oriented label founded by friend and collaborator Patrick Cowley, where he recorded four more albums, including the Cowley penned and produced hit Hi-NRG track “Do Ya Wanna Funk. (1982)”

An activist who campaigned against the spread of HIV/AIDS, Sylvester died from complications arising from the virus in 1988.

On September 20, 2004, Sylvester’s anthem record, “You Make Me Feel (Mighty Real),” was inducted into the Dance Music Hall of Fame. A year later, on September 19, 2005, Sylvester himself was inducted into the Dance Music Hall of Fame for his achievement as an artist.

Shortly before his death Sylvester had bequeathed all his future royalties of his music to local AIDS groups, but Sylvester died deeply in debt there was no money to distribute until the late 1990’s. Once his advances were repaid, his early-career label Fantasy Records then kept the money in an account until its proper recipient could be legally determined.

But finally in 2010 after all of Sylvester’s debts were paid The AIDS Emergency Fund and Project Open Hand split a check from Sylvester’s estate totaling nearly $140,000.

The royalty money is still being disbursed to AIDS groups today.

Gay History – January 20, 1979: Gloria Gaynor’s Gay Anthem “I Will Survive” Released – Five Facts You Didn’t Know

On January 20, 1979 Gloria Gaynor’s recording of I Will Survive was released and started its way up the music charts.

“I Will Survive” became one of the quintessential anthems for the Gay Pride that year and has held strong as a favorite of gay men everywhere.

But did you also know………

1. The song was released as a B-side

Gaynor originally released “I Will Survive” as the B-side to her cover of the Righteous Brothers’ “Substitute” in 1978. It wasn’t until radio DJs around the country took notice of “I Will Survive” and began giving the song airplay that the song quickly rocketed to the top of the charts and became a dance club staple.

2. Gaynor won the only Disco Grammy

Gloria Gaynor won the Grammy award for Best Disco Recording in 1980 for “I Will Survive.” This was the first and only time the Grammys offered this category at the awards and soon eliminated it after the fall of disco.

3. It doesn’t feature any background singers

Unlike many disco hits recorded at the time, “I Will Survive” is recorded without any background singers adding to the sound. Gaynor also recorded the song at a higher vocal register than she normally sings and the track wasn’t overproduced like her earlier hits.

4. The song has charted in every decade

Dozens of artists have covered Gaynor’s hit anthem, helping it achieve a timeless status on the charts. Since its release in the ’70s, “I Will Survive” has re-surfaced on the Hot 100 chart every decade in a variety of forms. In the ’80s, R&B singer Safire released her version that peaked at #53 in 1989. Singer Chantay Savage’s jazzy ballad peaked at #23 on the Hot 100 in 1996. In 2009, pop group the Pussycat Dolls sampled “I Will Survive” in their hit “Hush Hush; Hush Hush” that peaked at #73 and the hit show Glee helped bring the song back in 2011 with its Destiny’s Child mashup with “Survivor” that peaked at #51 on the chart.

5. “I Will Survive” has become a source of empowerment

The song has played an important part in many people’s lives as a source of inspiration and empowerment to overcome any obstacle in life. It not only serves as a break-up anthem for women that rouses up strength and power to move on from a relationship, but as the quintessential  empowerment song in the gay community to those who leave them behind, and even to Gaynor herself.

Just before recording “I Will Survive,” Gaynor spent six months in the hospital from a back injury and the song served as her own source of motivation to survive and overcome the injury. Since its release, “I Will Survive” has been translated in 20 different languages all over the world, and remains one of the most popular karaoke songs to this day.

Now that you know a little more behind the tune, watch and sing along with Gloria Gaynor’s timeless PRIDE anthem below!


Source K-Earth 101