Connect with us

Music & Concerts

Taylor Dayne and Terri Nunn fully deserve the blowback after NYE concert at Mar-a-Lago

Published

on

Taylor Dayne (image via Instagram)

2020 is finally over, but any hope that a new year might bring a general lowering of the anger level in American public life had already been dashed long before the clock chimed midnight on January 1.

We knew better, of course; even if the country wasn’t still consumed in virulent debate over political ideologies and an election drama that feels like an assault on our very Constitution, there’s that whole Covid thing – or, more to the point, the fact that the pandemic is surging into an ever-deepening crisis even as an alarming number of Americans continue to deny, dispute, dismiss and defy public health guidelines without concern or regard for the danger to fellow citizens who might be infected as a result.

New Year’s Eve, of course, brought that festering cultural boil to a head, as the pull of tradition combined with “quarantine fatigue” to lure thousands of Americans to “super-spreader” events all across the country – and even some outside of it, like the instantly infamous White Party in Nuevo Vallarta, where a disappointingly large contingent of circuit partiers proved, in the eyes of many, that stereotypes about narcissistic gays who only care about sex and drugs are truer than the community would wish to believe.

While it’s regrettable that so many members of the LGBTQ population are willing to risk spreading disease just so they can dance in their underwear, at least these people (or most of them) are private individuals, who can pretend to themselves that their choices have no influence over anyone else. But there’s a special kind of betrayal involved when allies in the public eye – especially allies whose fame and success have been greatly bolstered by LGBTQ support – choose to participate in, and thereby endorse, similarly irresponsible events, particularly when they do it in the company of the kind of political Covid-deniers who are also known for their anti-LGBTQ agendas.

Those were exactly the kind of people who were in attendance on New Year’s Eve at Mar-a-Lago, Trump’s Palm Beach resort, where a crowded and mask-less party provided an employment opportunity for a whole string of “where are they now?” musicians willing to perform at a celebration that marked not just the holiday, but Donald Trump Jr’s 43rd birthday. Most of the lineup, which included such enduring-yet-long-irrelevant luminaries as Vanilla Ice and Mike Love of the Beach Boys, was unsurprising; but among the evening’s entertainment were also Taylor Dayne and Berlin’s Terri Nunn, two singers for whom the embrace of the gay community was instrumental in catapulting them to whatever stardom they once held – and their participation did not slip by without notice from their LGBTQ fans, who took to social media in droves to express their disappointment and outrage in no uncertain terms.

In a day and age when “cancel culture” has become an inescapable fact of life, it’s hard to imagine that anyone, let alone a celebrity, would be clueless enough not to understand the ramifications of choosing to perform for a crowd of virus deniers who are also serial homophobes. Yet, in their after-the-fact attempts at “damage control” when angry fans called them out for their tone deafness, both singers have latched onto exactly that excuse; worse still, in “apologizing” for their tone deaf decisions, they have even claimed ignorance of the fact those decisions might have even been problematic.

In a tweet that has since been deleted, former not-quite-superstar Dayne offered a not-quite-defense for her actions, writing, “I’m saddened by all this. I have a 30 year careers [sic] … [and] many diverse friendship[s] … I try to stay non political and non judgmental and not preach… I sing from my heart purely…. I wish for all to be who they need to be and find their way.” 

Among the hundreds of respondents who were quick to point out that Dayne being “saddened” was irrelevent as an answer to the criticisms being levied at her was author and memoirist Josh Sabarra, who responded, “You’ve no reps who suggested that this may alienate fans?”

“And saying ‘but I have friends who are diverse’ is perhaps the most offensive answer,” he continued. “Not to mention, attending a large, maskless event in these times is a slap to those doing their part to keep others safe.”

“I’m trying to protect my elderly parents while you’re being irresponsible,” said another commenter. “Decisions have consequences and she made a poor decision to play in a super spreader event.”

A third cut straight to the chase by saying, “If you’re singing for anti-LGBTQ people, maybe you need to rethink your life choices.” Yet another went further down that path, telling the 58-year-old has-been pop footnote, “Hope it was worth it. You betrayed us. Good luck booking Pride events after this!”

For those who may have forgotten (or never cared), Dayne has been vocal in the past about her gratitude to the LGBTQ fans that helped to buoy her career. In 2015, she gushed in an Advocate interview about watching the community grow into “families” over her years of performances at Pride events, and in 2017 she joined a number of other celebrities who contributed “Love Letters” to Billboard Magazine in honor of Pride. Apparently, the chance to earn a paycheck in Florida was a bigger priority than her supposed love for her gay fans.

For her part, Nunn – whose 80s hits with Berlin included “Sex,” “The Metro,” and “Take My Breath Away” – seemed to be willing to take on full responsibility for her actions and offered an actual apology instead of just trying to paint herself as a victim.

Terri Nunn (image via Instagram)

“I am truly sorry I performed at Mar-a-Lago and would not have done so if I’d known what I learned while I was there,” Nunn wrote in a statement she posted on Berlin’s Facebook page. “My goal in performing was not to support a political party. I see now that that’s not the way it appeared and I am apologetic for that as well.”

She might have stopped there, but she went on to offer some excuses that, to put it bluntly, called either her sincerity or her grasp of reality into question. “The contract stated it was a small Covid-safe event for the members of Mar-a-Lago,” she added. “Unfortunately it was not Covid-safe anywhere in Florida. I had no idea masks and social distancing were not required. I thought I was current on all Covid news everywhere, but clearly I was not. I was shocked by Florida and Mar-a-Lago’s lack of regard for the pandemic, and if I’d known I would never have gone. Once I fulfilled my contractual obligation, I left the event as quickly as I could. It is a mistake I regret. I took a Covid 19 test yesterday and tested negative.”

As the quote goes, “The lady doth protest too much, methinks.”

As many disillusioned fans were quick to point out, Florida’s obstinate refusal to do anything to control the spread of Covid has been an oft-repeated theme in the headlines since almost the very beginning of the pandemic, so claims that she was unaware cannot help but strike most reasonable observers as disingenuous. It’s also worth noting that she left the event AFTER making sure she had done what she needed in order to get paid.

To underscore Nunn’s sole culpability for choosing to perform at the Mar-a-Lago super-spreader bash, her Berlin bandmate and cofounder, David Diamond, had previously posted to his own Twitter account to clear up any confusion that he might have been involved.

“A number of news outlets have reported that ‘Berlin’ played Mar-a-Lago for NYE,” Diamond wrote. “I want to make clear that I was not at this show, nor did I ever plan to attend. I spent the evening at my home in Truckee.”

It might seem harsh to lambast these two once-beloved musicians – or any of the many other celebrities who have made similar missteps – over an error in judgment. But these are not normal circumstances. The Covid crisis continues to devastate America, and the world, rendering literally millions of people vulnerable not only to severe sickness and death but to the economic devastation being ravaged by months of ongoing shutdowns; LGBTQ rights have been under assault for the last four years by a political faction that is, at the time of this writing, still actively trying to subvert the United States Constitution in order to keep its tenuous grip on power despite receiving a resounding repudiation from a majority of the American people. To pretend that it’s even possible to be apolitical when choosing who we align ourselves with, or that it’s “business as usual” when we decide to contract ourselves to people who support irresponsible and harmful policies, is delusional thinking at its most insidious, and we as a society can no longer give out passes to those who are willing to set aside ethical considerations in order to make a profit. We must struggle for unity – but not if it is based on a tacit understanding that we will look the other way when matters of personal gain are on the table. In truth, that is probably the one thing we must not be tempted to do; it might be an easier path, but it will only take us in an endless circle through an ever-worsening landscape of conflict and chaos.

It’s true that both Dayne and Nunn will continue to have fans and supporters; their music will keep getting played, and appreciated, and deservedly so – though they might have some difficulty securing new gigs for the foreseeable future.

Even so, their songs will now, forevermore, be colored by this defining moment in their careers, and we will never again be able to listen to them without feeling a twinge of distaste – like the one we experience when watching a movie by Roman Polanski or a performance by Kevin Spacey. The talent is unmistakable, the work worthy of praise, but the artist is irredeemably tainted.

More than the temporary discomfort of backlash from their fans, that is the true cost of Dayne’s and Nunn’s decision to perform at Mar-a-Lago. For their sakes, I hope whatever boost they may have gotten from it, whether to their egos or their bank accounts, was worth it.

Continue Reading
Advertisement
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Music & Concerts

Greyson Chance releases ‘Trophies’ in time for Pride

Published

on

OKLAHOMA CITY – As the tall slender dark-haired young musician prepares for a sound check on stage Friday preparing for his Oklahoma City Pride debut, back in Los Angeles his team released his highly anticipated new album via all digital and streaming platforms.

Greyson Chance, a critically acclaimed, chart-topping and singer-songwriter, with this new album Trophies- a follow up to his 2019’s critically praised ‘portraits’ EP, continues to display sharp writing chops, as well as his ability to push the envelope on his own musical boundaries.

From his recently released, dance-inspired hit “Hellboy” to his latest uplifting anthem “Nobody,” to the beautifully arranged, emotion-provoking ballad “Violet,” the piano aficionado openly takes listeners on a tour of his life. 

Friday is also the day Chance gets back on the road for his Trophies World Tour, starting in his hometown with the headlining spot at Oklahoma City’s Pride Festival.  Additional summer dates include shows in major cities across North America, as well as, European and South American dates to follow in the fall and winter of this year.

Chance will also embark on a second round of North American dates set for January 2022; full tour schedule below for reference.

TROPHIES releases after a long-awaited break for Chance. He last released his current single and dance-inspired anthem “Hellboy” after a strong slate of single releases through the pandemic, including well-received titles “Boots,” “Dancing Next To Me,” the revealing “Bad to Myself,” in which Chance opened up about his battle with an eating disorder, and this past January’s “Holy Feeling.”  Chance’s last EP was 2019’s critically acclaimed portraits, which to date has accumulated over 40 million streams, and topped #5 on iTunes’ Pop Charts, #1 on Apple’s Music Breaking Pop Playlist, and #3 on Apple Music’s Best of the Week Playlist upon its release. A portraits Word Tour followed that included 50+ sold out dates in North America, Europe, SE Asia, and China.

Greyson Chance (Photo Credit: Broderick Bauman)

TROPHIES is available now on all streaming platforms. Listen to the album HERE.

TROPHIES Track Listing:

  1. “Holy Feeling”
  2. “Nobody”
  3. “Hands”
  4. “Same People”
  5. “High-Waisted”
  6. “Violet”
  7. “Hellboy”
  8. “Clothes”

TROPHIES WORLD TOUR DATES 2021:

North America

June 25 – Oklahoma City – Headlining OKC PRIDE

July 07 – Tampa – Crowbar

July 08 – Orlando – The Social

July 09 – Atlanta-  Masquerade

July 10 – Charlotte – Neighborhood Theatre

July 15 – Richmond – Canal Club

July 16 – Washington DC – Union Stage

July 17 – Nashville – The High Watt

July 23 – Indianapolis  – The Irving Theatre 

July 24 – Detroit – Magic Stick

July 25 – Grand Rapids – The Stache at Intersection 

July 29 – Des Moines – xBK Live

July 30 – Milwaukee – Miramar Theatre

July 31 – Minneapolis – Studio B – Skyway Theatre

August 4 – Chicago – Lincoln Hall

August 5 – Lawrence – The Bottleneck 

August 6 – Austin – The Parish

August 7 – Dallas – Trees

August 11 – El Paso – Ricky D’s

August 12 – Phoenix – Crescent Ballroom

August 13 – Salt Lake City – The Complex

August 14 – Denver – The Bluebird

Europe

October 28 – Manchester – Night People

October 29 – London – Heaven

October 30 – Madrid – Capernico

November 3 – Stockholm – Klubben

November 4 – Berlin – Frannz

November 5 – Paris – Backstage

November 6 – Amsterdam – Melkweg 

South America

December 12 – Sao Paulo – Sao Paulo Pride

December 16 – Mexico City – For Indie Rocks!

TROPHIES WORLD TOUR DATES 2022

North America

January 13 – San Diego – Soma Sidestage

January 14 – Seattle – Neumos

January 15 – Los Angeles – The Fonda

January 21 – Portland – Hawthorne Theatre

January 22 – San Francisco –  August Hall

January 26 – Philadelphia – The Foundary at Fillmore

January 27 – Boston – Paradise Rock Club

January 28 – Hamden – Space Ballroom

January 29 – New York – Webster Hall

January 30 – Toronto – Axis Club

Continue Reading

Music & Concerts

Adam Lambert closes out Pride Month kickoff concert

The Pride Month kick-off concert ran for three days at the LA Memorial Coliseum, and was the first live event of the season

Published

on

Adam Lambert on stage at OUTLOUD: Raising Voices June 6, 2021

LOS ANGELES – Queen frontman and vocal powerhouse Adam Lambert hit the stage Sunday, belting ‘I Want to Break Free’ with trans German pop star Kim Petras, closing out a whirlwind weekend at the OUTLOUD: RAISING VOICES concert. The Pride Month kick-off concert ran for three days at the LA Memorial Coliseum, and is the first live event of the season – generating an unforgettable energy in the crowd and from the performers on stage. 

The Sunday concert featured a star-studded lineup, including ‘Black and Gold’ singer Sam Sparro, the electrifying VINCINT and a surprise performance from Pose star MJ Rodriguez. Additional performers included country star Chely Wright, R&B singer Zhavia Ward and The Voice contestant Angel Bonilla. The evening concert was peppered with video messages from LGBT+ icons and allies including Demi Lovato, Conchita Wurst and Yungblud. It was as a Pride concert should be, filled with dazzling vocals, flashy choreography and plenty of sparkle. 

Adam Lambert was at his usual best, decked out in a bedazzled kilt ensemble and belting notes from high heaven. However, the two standouts were MJ Rodriguez and VINCINT. MJ skipped out on stage accompanied by a group of dancers with the charisma and stage presence of a super bowl headliner. Effervescent and energetic, she set the tone for the evening and brought the daytime crowd to its feet.

As the sun went down, VINCINT strutted out on stage – also accompanied by two denim-clad dancers. With his signature riffs and flawless vocals, he was joined by Parson James, Qveen Herby and Ty Sunderland for an unforgettable set. After his group number, and a stunning dance break to Rihanna, VINCINT dedicated one of his last songs to his father who recently passed away. It was an incredibly moving moment – a reminder of the tremendous loss so many suffered in the past year, and of the gratitude felt by all those attending that there is a light at the end of the tunnel. 

The event was produced by LA events organization, JJLA, who partnered with Pride Live’s Stonewall Day on behalf of the Feel Something Foundation. To reach audiences worldwide, JJLA added an exclusive streaming partnership with Twitch – and connected with over 3 million viewers over the weekend. It was the perfect beginning to an incredible Pride Month.

Continue Reading

Music & Concerts

OUTLOUD Raising Voices concert kicks off Pride 2021 at the Coliseum

The celebration also connected with a global audience through an exclusive streaming partnership with Twitch.

Published

on

Shea Diamond at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum June 4, 2021 (Photo Credit: JJLA)

LOS ANGELES – June 5, 2021 – OUTLOUD Raising Voices kicked off Pride Month 2021 last night at the L.A. Memorial Coliseum marking a return to live events in downtown Los Angeles with the start of a three-day concert (June 4 – 6, 2021).

The event commenced with introductory remarks from Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti and had more than 1 million global views of the premiere day’s 8-hour exclusive Twitch live stream.

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti (L) and Jeff Consoletti (R), co-creator of OUTLOUD: RAISING VOICES on June 4, 2021 at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum for the opening night of the award-winning LGBTQ concert series that celebrates LGBTQ+ Pride month. The 3-day in-person event featuring more than two dozen queer and allied artists and performers is also streaming exclusively on Twitch.tv/OfficiallyOutloud. (Photo by John Viscott for JJLA)

OUTLOUD continues tonight, June 5, with performances and appearances by headliner Hayley Kiyoko, Brooke Eden, Madame Gandhi, La Doña, Crush Club, Kaleena Zanders and Bronze Avery.

This year, OUTLOUD joins forces with Pride Live’s Stonewall Day, a global campaign that elevates awareness and support for the Stonewall legacy and the continued fight for full LGBTQ+ equality. In partnership with Stonewall Day, each day will profile and support various LGBTQ+ charities, namely Stonewall Day’s annual beneficiaries Trans Tech Social and Trans Lash, and OUTLOUD’s PRIDE partner cities from around the nation.  The celebration connected with a global audience through an exclusive streaming partnership with Twitch, the interactive live streaming service. 

Tickets are available at Ticketmaster and fans who cannot make it in person can stream at Twitch.  

  

Continue Reading
Advertisement
Advertisement

Follow Us @LosAngelesBlade

Sign Up for Blade eBlasts

Popular