The Weeknd announces Starboy Tour, in Dallas next May

tw_starboy_press_12-smRecording artist The Weeknd, who released his latest album, Starboy, just last month, has announced dates for his tour in support of the disc. Starboy: Legend of the Fall 2017 World Tour (Phase One) kicks off on Feb. 17, 2017, in Stockholm, Sweden, but will wind its way to Dallas on May 4, at the American Airlines Center. Presale begins this morning at 10 a.m.,  for Cici cardholders (check out if you are one), but general sales begin on Friday, Nov. 4 on (here’s a direct link).

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

‘Same Love’s’ Mary Lambert: The gay interview

MaryLambert1Editor’s note: Still high off her Grammy nomination, queer music icon Mary Lambert sat down with our Chris Azzopardi to discuss the group wedding, her new EP and what it’s like having Madonna dry your tears.

“I’m not crying on Sundays,” Mary Lambert assures herself on the song that got her to the Grammys. But Sunday, Jan. 26,  was different. That Sunday was better.

Singing the heart-lifting chorus to Macklemore’s “Same Love,” which was nominated for best song, Lambert made her Grammy debut.

That’s when she lost it. But these weren’t tears of sadness or shame. These were tears of joy. Tears of being inspired and moved and all those things you feel when you share the stage with gay couples who are finally able to get married, a monumental celebration that took place at the awards show, with Queen Latifah officiating.

Emotions ran high that night, but Lambert, 24, had a new friend nearby — a new friend by the name of Madonna. And the icon didn’t just sing Lambert’s words, but, like something out of a fever dream, swooped in and wiped away her tears.

Lambert, who recently released her own solo EP called Welcome to the Age of My Body, was still emotional when she spoke about that unforgettable night.

Dallas Voice: You must be pinching yourself. What was your Grammy experience like?  Lambert: It was really emotional from start to finish. I already feel like Cinderella because I was bartending last year and didn’t know how I was gonna pay rent. Now I’ve been nominated for a Grammy — and I took my mom, which was a dream of mine — but then to be able to do this song, and to do it on this magnitude with this beautiful choir and fucking Madonna and Queen Latifah, are you kidding me? It’s just stupid, dude. If I really think about it, I lose it.

You cry?  Yeah, like, “I don’t deserve this.” I’m still working on my positive self-talk.

What was it like being part of the wedding ceremony?  Honestly, that was the most emotional part. Being in rehearsal and hearing Madonna sing my words and hearing the choir come in, that was emotional, but being in the dress rehearsal at the Grammys and watching the couples come in, I couldn’t get through the song for almost every rehearsal. I wasn’t sure how I was gonna perform because it was so beautiful. You saw on their faces how much it meant to them, and I knew how much it would mean to the viewer. How do you process that? It’s the most beautiful thing that exists in the world.

What were rehearsals with Madonna like?  We had long rehearsals. I wouldn’t say we’re close, but we got to know each other’s mannerisms and how we operate. I consider her a friend. She was very kind to me, and because we had to work together, I had to be like, “Hey, this is how I sing the song.”

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

Jennifer Hudson book signing at Lincoln Park Barnes & Noble

She’s gonna tell you

This almost came and went under the radar. Oscar-winning actress and Grammy-winning singer Jennifer Hudson can now add author to her resume. She comes to Dallas to sign copies of her newest inspirational book I Got This: How I Changed My Ways and Lost What Weighed Me Down at the Barnes and Noble store in Lincoln Park. The memoir details her loss of over 80 lbs. and learning to adhere to a new healthy lifestyle. Sounds just like the right book for the new year.

Just so you know, the store has special instructions. From Barnes and Noble.

Wristbands: 9:00 am, January 19 — Present B&N receipt for I Got This for band to save your place in line. One band per person. Ms. Hudson will sign I Got This and CDs purchased at the event only. Limit two books and two CDs per customer. No books or CDs from home allowed. No personalization, no pos.

DEETS: Barnes and Noble, Lincoln Park, 7700 W. Northwest Hwy., Ste. 300. 7 p.m.

—  Rich Lopez

Los Lobos tonight at the Winspear

Latin legends grace Dallas

After 34 years, the iconic three-time Grammy winners, Los Lobos continues to top the charts with inventive and inspiring hit music.

Los Lobos was formed in 1974 by David Hidalgo, Conrad Lozano, Louie Prez and Cesar Rosas, four friends from Garfield High School in East Los Angeles. Though they started out as a rock-and-roll band, they soon chose a more traditional Mexican acoustic style. In time, the band adopted music from Tex-Mex, country, folk, R&B and blues, as well as the traditional Mexican songs from their roots. The band has won Grammys for its 1988 Spanish-language album, and for its contribution to the film Desperado. They have collaborated with artists such as Dave Alvin, Ruben Blades, Elvis Costello, Little Willie G, Mavis Staples, Richard Thompson, Bobby Womack and Tom Waits.

Wildly popular, talented and fun, the Los Lobos invites you to the ultimate Deiz y Seis celebration.


DEETS: Winspear Opera House, 2403 Flora St. 8 p.m. $12–$125.

—  Rich Lopez

Jury deliberates fate of homophobic reggae artist Buju Banton, who faces life in prison

The Associated Press is reporting that closing arguments have been given in the case of reggae singer Buju Banton’s drug case.

The 37-year-old Banton is accused of conspiring with two other men in setting up a drug deal in December of 2009. His album “Before the Dawn” won a Grammy for best reggae album this week, and he remains wildly popular in his native Jamaica.

A jury deadlocked in his first trial last year. If convicted of all the charges, he faces up to life in prison.

Every seat in the federal courtroom in Tampa was filled as the lawyers gave their closing arguments. Many of the seats were taken by Banton’s friends and fans, including well-known reggae artists Gramps Morgan and Wayne Wonder. During the lunch break, about a dozen supporters held hands and prayed for Banton in the court hallway.

“I’m fighting for my freedom,” said Banton, whose given name is Mark Myrie. “I’m fighting for my life.”

Banton is notorious for his strongly homophobic songs calling for the torture and murder of gay men — or “batty boys” as they are known in his native Jamaica. He came to Dallas in 2009 on tour to face a protest at his concert at the Deep Ellum reggae venue The Palm Beach Club.

—  Rich Lopez

Anti-Gay Singer Buju Banton Wins Reggae Grammy, Faces Drug and Gun Trial Today

Anti-gay 'murder music' singer Buju Banton won a Grammy award last night:

Bujubanton "Banton won the prestigious award for Best Reggae Album for his project, Before The Dawn. This was his first Grammy award, having been nominated in previous years for Rasta Got Soul in 2009; Too Bad in 2007; Friends For Life, 2004; and Inna Heights, 1999. "He is elated, man," one member of Banton's entourage told the Observer. The announcement of the Reggae Grammy was made hours before the Grammy Awards show in Los Angeles, California last night."

The controversy surrounding Banton stems primarily from a song called "Boom Boom Bye" in which he sings about shooting gay men in the head, pouring acid on them and burning them alive.

Banton's drug trial resumes this morning in Tampa. He faces up to 20 years if convicted:

Just last week, Judge Jim Moody ruled against a motion by Buju’s legal team seeking to dismiss a superseding indictment. As a result of the ruling by Moody, who will preside over the trial, Buju will now be facing four counts instead of the two for which he was originally tried last September.

The five-time Grammynominated artiste, whose real name is Mark Myrie, had originally been tried on charges of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute cocaine, and aiding and abetting the possession of a firearm during a drug-trafficking offence.

He will now be tried for conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute cocaine; attempted possession with the intent to distribute cocaine; possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drugtrafficking offence; and using the wires to facilitate a drugtrafficking offence.

The Miami Herald reports that Banton has gays in mind when he references his troubles:

In Jamaica, some fans have theorized Banton was framed by the U.S. government or gay activists who have protested violent, homophobic lyrics from early in Banton's career as a brash dancehall singer. Shows in several U.S. cities were canceled on his 2009 tour because of the protests.

Banton jabbed at his detractors during his Jan. 16 performance in Miami, referencing one of his controversial songs and the messiah of his Rastafarian faith.

He said: "Why they want to see Buju Banton cry? Is it because I said 'Boom Bye Bye'? Is it because I say Selassie I? Is it because I'm black and not shy?"

Towleroad News #gay

—  David Taffet

2011 Grammy Winners

Album of the Year Arcade Fire — The Suburbs

Best New Artist Esperanza Spalding

Record of the Year Lady Antebellum — “Need You Now”

Song of the Year Lady Antebellum — “Need You Now”

Best Pop Vocal Album Lady Gaga —The Fame Monster

Best Rock Album Muse — The Resistance

Best R&B Album John Legend & The Roots — Wake Up!

Best Rap Album Eminem — Recovery

Best Country Album Lady Antebellum — Need You Now

My lameness: Best new artist? New heard of. Album of the year winner? Never heard of. Record of the year winner? Never heard of. Sigh.

Joe. My. God.

—  David Taffet

Concert notice: Deborah Vial returns to Dallas with Amy Hanaialii Gilliom at HOB Aug. 20

Even though singer Deborah Vial traded in Dallas for Hawaii, she’s still a favorite in the local scene. But when she comes back to town, it’s always a homecoming kind of a big deal. Usually she can be found performing at Sue Ellen’s, but later this month, she steps on over to the House of Blues’ Cambridge Room.

Vial performs at House of Blues Aug. 20 with Hawaiian vocalist Amy Hanaialii Gilliom, who Vial assures us is a must-see. Here is Vial’s message about the upcoming show.

This is Deborah Vial and we are coming back to Dallas to play the House of Blues with Amy Hanaialii Gilliom on August 20th. Here is how it happened.

We have been watching Amy sing in the islands for years, she is truly regarded as the voice of Hawaii. She has been nominated four times for a Grammy (never won which makes her almost Susan Lucci-ish). Very gay friendly and has a large gay following. UNBELIEVABLE voice. She speaks fluent Hawaiian. Totally hot.

There is this bizarre Texas-Hawaii connection — wherever we go in Hawaii, we meet people from Texas. One night, over dinner, we suggested she come to Dallas to spread her talent around. She agreed and now we are opening for her at the Dallas House of Blues to try and introduce her to Texans. She will singing some Hawaiian, some jazz and some pop.

Gilliom and Vial play House of Blues, 2200 N. Lamar St. at 8 p.m. Tickets are $25 and can be purchased here.

—  Rich Lopez

Major Christian singer Jennifer Knapp comes out

“We are everywhere.” That’s been the motto for those who want as many LGBT people as possible to come out as a way of promoting LGBT equality.

This week, Jennifer Knapp proved that we are, indeed, everywhere.

Knapp, for those who don’t know, is an award-winning Christian musical artist. She has sold more than 1 million albums with her three releases to date. She won the Dove Award for Best New Artist and later later scored a Grammy nod in 2002 and another Dove nomination in 2003.

She’s a big deal. And this week, she confirmed that she is gay.

Knapp told Christian Today that she knows some of her fans will be shocked by her coming out, and some will feel betrayed, and while she doesn’t consider herself an LGBT activist, she obviously feels that you don’t have to be an activist to want to live an open, honest life:

“I’m just a normal human being who’s dealing with normal everyday life scenarios. As a Christian, I’m doing that as best as I can. The heartbreaking thing to me is that we’re all hopelessly deceived if we don’t think that there are people within our churches, within our communities, who want to hold on to the person they love, whatever sex that may be, and hold on to their faith. It’s a hard notion.”

Isn’t that really what we all want?Knapp
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—  admin