Billboard Hot 100 Fest
This Week's Gay Agenda: 'American Horror Story,' RuPaul & MNEK
Gay Agenda is a new column for Billboard Pride where we run down a few fab things before the weekend. Between new tracks, music videos and pop culture moments, we want our readers to be prepared for boozy brunch conversation.
If you don’t have MNEK’s “Paradise” on loop -- what are you even doing? The slick track samples ‘90s dance staple “Free” by Ultra Naté.
RAC’s Ego is one our favorite releases this summer. From the moody K.Flay collaboration “Heartbreak Summer” to the twinkling Joywave-assisted “No One Has to Know,” the album is full of bops. While RAC -- also known as André Allen Anjos -- is happily married to a woman, the album’s lead single “This Song” features our out-and-proud crush Rostam and has a deliciously queer video to accompany it. Check out the visual below and stream the whole album here.
Is American Horror Story’s latest season about CrossFit? At midnight, Ryan Murphy took to Twitter to announce that the title of this year’s installment of the horror series would be titled Cult. With the studly Colton Haynes joining the show, we’re especially excited to see what gay storylines (you know they’re coming) Mr. Murphy is dreaming up. Check out the terrifying trailer below.
While you’re likely playing Lana’s Lust For Life on repeat, here’s another melancholic track for your summer-bummer playlist: Skott’s “Mermaid.” The Swedish artist boasts stamps of approval from the likes of Lorde and Katy Perry -- and with this cool track, it’s easy to see why.
Off With Your Wig
RuPaul stars in this year’s stylish Pirelli calendar -- and we’ve never seen the drag icon serving such an editorial look. Mama Ru joins an all-black cast including Lupita Nyong’o, Naomi Campbell, Whoopi Goldberg and Sean “Diddy” Combs in the striking Alice in Wonderland-inspired shoot. While the calendar’s images won’t be released for a few months, you can peep a behind-the-scenes look below.
Speaking of Ru -- the drag icon has joined the likes of Rita Ora, Nick Cannon and Lena Dunham in supporting MTV’s important new initiative to encourage the White House to stand up against the horrific situation in Chechnya, a federal subject of Russia. Gay and bisexual men have been hunted down, rounded up and continue to be illegally detained in prison. Many have been tortured and at least three men have been murdered. For more information on how you can get involved, check out Chechnya.mtv.com. The site also directs readers to a petition with the Human Rights Campaign, which asks people to urge President Donald Trump to join other world leaders like Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and German Chancellor Angela Merkel in making it clear to Russia that lawless detentions, torture and murders of LGBTQ people are unacceptable.
Round & Round
Seattle-based Michete gained some attention in 2015 after Shamir placed them on a playlist for NME. Now -- a few years later -- the transfeminine rapper's cover of the Dead or Alive classic "You Spin Me Round (Like A Record)" is gaining some viral buzz. Check out the new video below.
Indie Spotlight: Josh Michaels
One of the most exciting parts of our Billboard Pride initiative (have you followed us on Facebook yet?) is that we have a strong platform to celebrate and highlight up-and-coming LGBTQ artists and our fiercest allies. This week, we’d like you to lend your ear to Italian-opera trained pop singer Josh Michael’s hopeful new song “Break Around You.” "I hope that my song can help the LGBTQ community and empower everyone within the community to be true to themselves. Always.," said Michaels. "I want this song to be able to connect with your struggles of coming out, and be used as a driving force to be the beautiful people that you all are."