Jason Howard Green

Jason Howard Green

Saturday, June 6, 2015

Pop Artists Videos featuring Gay Couples

I am so in love with Jennifer Hudson's new video.  "I Still Love You" tells the story of a young gay couple getting ready for their wedding day.  The video opens with one partner calling his father and leaving a voice message, inviting him to the ceremony.  He states before hanging up the phone, "Inspite of everything, I still love you."  Powerful words that set the ground for a powerful video.

However, Jennifer Hudson is not the first mainstream, Top 40 artist to feature a gay couple in her video. As I watched her video, I started to think about other artists (specifically people of color artists) that have embraced the LGBTQ community. This is just a list of my top five favorite moments where gay love has been showcased in the video of pop artists.

5.  Murs is a rap artist, not a pop artist, but he still makes my list.  His video to "Animal Style" pre-dated Macklemore's "Same Love" and Frank Ocean's coming out.  I label him as one of the first within this genre  to help start the shift away from homophobia and transphobia towards one of inclusion.  More strides need to be made, but we have many great allies which include the likes of Jay Z, Russell Simmons, P. Diddy, and Will Smith.  Get into "Animal Style" below:

4.  Ricky Martin is getting hotter as he gets older.  Coming out has definitely agreed with him.  He continues to release great music.  His new stuff is very different from the "Shake Your Bon Bon" and "Living La Vida Loca" dance and sweat kind of songs.  This has more soul.  This tells a story.  This is more meaningful.  The song "Disparo al Corozon (Shot to the Heart) is from his latest, all Spanish album A Quien Quiera Escuchar.  The video features a newly married gay couple.

3.  Ashanti has evolved tremendously since she stepped on the scene.  In her latest project, Braveheart, I can hear how she has grown.  And in the video to "Never Should Have," I appreciate how the love of a gay couple is just one of several couples featured.  Seemingly showing that same gender love is no different from any other form of love.

2.  This is the video that inspired this list.  The song is just fabulous.  Poignant, catchy, dance-able. Jennifer Hudson has resonated with gay folks since her days on American Idol.  We really embraced her when she took on the role of Effie White in Dream Girls.  We loved her even more as Carrie's assistance in the Sex In the City movie.  Her vulnerability in dealing with the tragic loss of her family, her courage in publicly tackling her issues with weight, and let's not forget the fantastic voice have launched into the status of icon. And for releasing this wonderful video, Jennifer Hudson, I still love you.

 1.  As much as I love Ms. Hudson, I love the following song just a little bit more. Marsha Ambrosius' "Far Away" features a black gay couple and brings attention to suicide within the LGBT community.  I've been a fan of hers since she came on the scene as one half of the neo-soul duet Floetry.  I continued to support her in her solo endeavor.  This video served as a public service announcement, bringing awareness to homophobia and bullying against, and depression and low self-esteem within gay men.

Honorable mention to diva Toni Braxton.  This performance is from her 1998 Billboard Awards performance.  The video quality is not the greatest but it's the only version available on YouTube.  I remember my mouth hitting the floor watching this performance when it went from ballad to uptempo dance hit.  Featured front and center was a gay couple dancing.  The cameras tried hard to avoid the couple but Toni 's strategic placement (dead center) made this impossible to do.  This was very taboo for this time.

A big kudos to all of these artists.  I sincerely believe efforts like these play a significant part in shaping the public conscience and making the world a more friendly place for lesbians and gay folks. 

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