Jason Howard Green

Jason Howard Green

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Sylverster is the "Queen of Disco"

Who is the “Queen of Disco?” Donna Summer? Gloria Gaynor? Many would argue (and I would have to agree) that the true QUEEN of disco is none other than the fierce and fabulous drag star extraordinaire, Sylvester. With dance hits like You Make Me Feel (Mighty Real) and Dance (Disco Heat), he has left a legacy of music that we will never forget.

Sylvester was a diva in his own right and an artist that believed in himself and his talent. He refused to bow down to the intimidations of this record label. Openly gay and over the top flamboyant, his label, Fantasy Records, wanted the singer to tone down his onstage persona. They tried to pressure Sylvester to stop wearing women’s clothing, wigs and excessive make-up with hopes that this could give the artist a more universal appeal.

Sylvester not only refused to take the advice of his label; he decided to move forward with the creation of his You Make Me Feel video adorned in full drag, much to the dismay of many industry executives. You can see the video here. However they would have to revel in the fact that maybe Sylvester knew what he was doing because sales of the album only increased.

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.

I love Sylvester because he stayed true to himself not only in his career but throughout his life.  He never compromised who he was for his family, for the church or for his record label.  Sylvester was a big ole black drag queen and he embraced all aspects of himself.  He opened the doors for RuPaul, Boy George and all other artists that decided to embrace androgyny and gender fluidity.

The story of Sylvester’s rise to stardom and details about his final days struggling with HIV are well documented in the short documentary below. Its only 34 minutes and well worth the time to learn more about this phenomenal man that I personally consider a hero.


LdqBabe said...

always loved me some Sylvester...

Ashlee Geraldur said...

All of them are Queens of disco in their own rights. I do love Sylverster's tracks alongside Donna Summers. Disco royalty they are. Sylverster has an awesome mix right at dance club in olongapo for Saturday night fever.