We’re closing in on the holiday season.
Thanksgiving is next week and I hope that you have a happy one and if you head out to the stores or the malls afterwards, I hope you don’t get mauled or that you don’t maul others!
I have a few random thoughts to share with you. With the Christmas season coming up and my countdowns of my favorite movies, albums, and songs in December, this will be my last “Random Friday Thoughts” of 2014. Enjoy!
NOT ONE, BUT TWO COUNTRY STARS COME OUT AS GAY THIS WEEK
Ty Herndon last hit the Top 40 on the Billboard Country chart in 2001 with a song that only peaked at #37. While not impressive, that’s just one of thirteen hits he’s scored since his debut, “What Mattered Most”, topped the chart in 1995.
After two failed marriages, stints in drug and alcohol rehabilitation, and a 1995 arrest in a Fort Worth, Texas, park for exposing himself to an undercover cop with drugs in his possession (the indecent exposure charged was dropped in a plea bargain), the Mississippi born singer is finally finding peace.
Earlier this week, he told “People” magazine, “I’m an out, proud and happy gay man” and that he’s been in a long-term relationship with his partner, Matt.
Herndon says he started thinking he was gay when he was 10-years-old and starting coming out to his family when he was 20, “My mother probably knew I was gay before I did. I remember sitting down with her and having the conversation.” He adds, “She was more concerned about me having a happy life. You have to be able to do that in your own skin, and [my family] has seen me struggle with being gay my whole career.”
Herndon also talked to “People” about his demons. “I have made a lot of mistakes in my life. They’ve been my mistakes, and I own them,” says Herndon. “I’ve done a lot of work around forgiveness with people that I’ve hurt and people I’ve not been honest with because of my sexuality.”
Of his thirteen country hits, seven reached the Top Ten with three topping the chart: “What Mattered Most” (1995), “Living In A Moment” (1996), and “It Must Be Love” (1998).
Herndon plans to release a new solo album next year and is currently touring with Jamie O’Neal and Andy Griggs.
He plans on using his coming out to help others with visibility. Herndon adds, “I just want to show up for the causes that I believe in. And be able to walk down the street and hold this man’s hand that will be my husband one day, and I know we’ll have kids one day.”
Ty, congratulations and I wish you and Matt the very best. Enjoy country music, singing, touring, and whatever you choose to do in life.
BILLY GILMAN ALSO DECLARES PUBLICLY THAT HE’S GAY
Billy Gilman is now a charming, good-looking 26-year-old man, but he scored his first country hit back in 2000, when he hit #20 with “One Voice”, at the age of just twelve!
While he had one more modest hit later that year on the radio, his big accomplishment was having three Top Ten albums on the country chart in less than one year!
In a compelling video posted to YouTube yesterday, Gilman talks about what prompted him to come out and why he’s ashamed to say publicly that he’s gay.
He says, “It’s difficult for me to make this video, not because I’m ashamed of being a gay male artist, or a gay artist or a gay person, but it’s pretty silly to know that I’m ashamed of doing this knowing that I’m in a genre and an industry that’s ashamed of me for being me.”
And, sadly, that’s true. Now, I know that not all country music fans are close-minded because many country music fans are friends and fans of mine. But, you don’t have to look too far and too long to realize that what Gilman says is true.
Billy, coming out is courageous and I applaud you. As you already know, there will be obstacles. Deal with them and do what you love and you’ll have people follow you.
Best of luck!
DONATE, BUT AVOID THE EBOLA CHARITY SINGLE!
Back in the fall of 1984, Bob Geldof gathered a group of very popular English musicians including Culture Club, Duran Duran, Wham!, U2, Bananarama, Sting, Spandau Ballet, Paul Young, Phil Collins, and many more to record a charity single called “Do They Know It’s Christmas?”.
The money raised would go toward fighting starvation in Ethiopia. By 1989, the single had already sold nearly 12 million copies worldwide.
It became the biggest selling single in UK history until 1997 when it was surpassed by Elton John’s tribute to Princess Diana, “Candle In The Wind”.
Now, 30 years later, Geldof has brought together some of the biggest U.K. stars today including One Direction, Ed Sheeran, Sam Smith, Ellie Goulding, Rita Oro, and others for a re-working of the song to raise money and awareness to fight ebola.
However, the lyrics are awkward and the production pales in comparison to original. I couldn’t even get through the song once. You can find it online by searching for “Band Aid 30”.
The good news is that the song raised the equivalent of $1.7 million in just the first few minutes of being released.
By the way, in November 2004, there was another version of “Do They Know It’s Christmas” by “Band Aid 20”. Like the new version, it fails miserably living up to the original even with one of my favorites, Kylie Minogue, involved.
If you’d like to donate money in the fight against ebola and save yourself from buying and hearing the “Band Aid 30” song, you can donate here:
And, here’s the original “Do They Know It’s Christmas?” and my early prayers that there won’t be a “Band Aid 40”!
REMEMBERING HARVEY MILK
Next week marks the 36th anniversary of the assassination of Harvey Milk, the first openly gay politician elected to public office in California as a member of the San Fransisco Board of Supervisors eleven months early.
It was on November 27, 1978, that Dan White, an unstable and disgruntled former supervisor on the board with Milk, went into City Hall and gunned down Milk and San Fransisco Mayor George Moscone in cold blood.
I just read the book, “The Mayor of Castro Street” by the late writer Randy Shilts, who was born right here in the Quad Cities, in Davenport. What an incredible read and what an amazing man!
If you don’t know much about Harvey Milk, the man who help ignite the LGBT movement in the late-1970s, just as the Stonewall Riots in New York did in the summer of 1969, check out this feature I wrote a couple of years ago.
“PEOPLE” SEXIEST MAN ALIVE
31-year-old Australian actor Chris Hemsworth (“Thor”) was named “People” magazine’s “Sexiest Man Alive”.
While he is definitely gorgeous and I haven’t checked out the magazine yet, my choice for “Sexiest Man Alive” would be Enrique Iglesias.
James Marsden or Matt Bomer would also be high on that list, too. For others that made my list last year, check out this fun blog I posted in October 2013.
If I had to update the list now, it would have to include singer Nick Jonas and actors Hugh Dancy (“Hannibal”), Theo James (“Divergent”), and Jack Falahee (Connor Walsh on “How To Get Away With Murder”).
Wait, how did Andrew Lincoln of “The Walking Dead” pop up there? 🙂
MORE TAYLOR SWIFT ADMIRATION
If I thought “Shake It Off”, the first release from the mega-hit album, “1989”, was awesome, the follow-up, “Blank Space” is incredible.
I thought that when I first heard the song, but once I saw the over-the-top crazy video, there was no doubt!
TAYLOR, BY THE NUMBERS
Taylor Swift is still on fire. “Blank Space” vaults from #13 to #1 on the Billboard Hot 100, making Taylor the first woman to ever replace herself at #1. This week, “Shake It Off” drops from the top spot to #3.
The first act to do that was the Beatles back in 1964. They actually replaced themselves at #1 back-to-back with three chart toppers: “I Want To Hold Your Hand”, “She Loves You”, and “Can’t Buy Me Love”.
Also, Taylor’s album “1989” spent a third week at number one on the album chart selling another 312,000 copies. In just three weeks, it’s up to sales of two million!
Only one other album in 2014 has sold more, the “Frozen” soundtrack and it’s up to 3.25 million.
“1989” and “Frozen” are the only million sellers this year!
With the Christmas buying season hitting full force next week, which album will end up as the biggest seller in 2014? You can never count out “Frozen” since it has a big lead and it won’t go away, but I’m putting my money on T-Swizzle!
TWO HUMOROUS LOOKS AT TAYLOR
Thanks to my friend, Kathy McCoy, for bringing this to my attention from “Saturday Night Live”. This is so me!
And, here’s “Blank Space” as a horror movie trailer!
ADAM JOSEPH — BEST DAD OF THE YEAR!
There are great dads out there all over the world, whether they are single dads, dads married to a woman, or dads that have another great man.
My vote for dad of the year goes out to fellow television meteorologist Adam Joseph of 6ABC in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Adam is taking the holidays and the important November ratings period off to be with his son, Jacob. Here’s what he posted on his Facebook page earlier this month.
Back in August, Adam not only publicly came out as gay, but he also announced that his partner, Karl, were proud dads of newborn, Jacob.
Adam told philly.com, “While I believe every person reading this article should respect others’ privacy, I decided to share this personal moment for my son.”
He added, “I want my son to be proud of both his fathers. From the day he was born, I want him to understand that families come in all shapes, sizes and colors. In our eyes, as long as there is unconditional love for a child, it doesn’t matter who that child looks up to or leans on… This is unconditional love and hope. I truly wish that every person wanting a family can feel this overwhelming happiness and joy.”
Happy Thanksgiving, Happy Holidays, and Happy 2015, Adam, Karl, and Jacob!
MY PICK HIT IS NOW A CROSSOVER HIT
Last month in October, while in Tel Aviv, Israel to celebrate my birthday, I was so thrilled to get to see VH-1 and music videos all the time.
One new song that caught my attention was “Stolen Dance” by the German duo, Milky Chance.
That song has spent ten weeks #1 on the Billboard Alternative Songs chart and is now a Top 40 radio airplay hit here in America!
THE NEXT TIME YOU COMPLAIN ABOUT SNOW…
Think about poor western New York. Lake effect snows this week have dumped more than seven feet of snow (that’s more than 84″ of snow)!
Sadly, the storm has killed at least ten people and stranded thousands.
However, I’m looking for the silver lining in this historic snow event.
Is this picture not too funny?
Last season, the second snowiest on record in the Quad Cities, we picked up 65.1″ and that was from October 2013 to March 2014!
SOLO BONUS JONAS (NO, NOT FRANKIE)
Nick Jonas, the youngest in the pop trio, the Jonas Brothers, is having a great year.
He’s earning rave review in his role as Nate Kulina on the hit Audience Network series, “Kingdom”.
Additionally, he just hit #6 on the Billboard Album chart with his self-titled latest album and he just scored his first Top Ten solo hit on Billboard Hot 100 as “Jealous” moves to #10.
As part of the Jonas Brothers, he scored eight hits on the Hot 100 with two of them reaching the Top Ten.
A SEXY CHRISTMAS FLASHBACK
Remember this sexy “Show Your Joe” KMart commercial from last year?
If you’re a fan of the Showtime series, “Dexter”, you might recognize Darri Ingolfsson, the third from the left. He played Oliver Saxon/Daniel Vogel in the eighth and final season.
I hope you have a very Happy Thanksgiving and you get family time, even if you have to work.
I work Thanksgiving, Black Friday, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, and New Year’s Eve, but I’m still going to make the most of my family time and the holidays when I get home from work!
If you’re still not buying into the amazing Christmas music on the Quad Cities’ Mix 96 yet, maybe this beautiful Coca-Cola commercial will get you into the Christmas spirit!
Now, I want a Coke Zero!
Thank you for checking out my last “Random Friday Thoughts” of 2014. Let me know if you agree or disagree with me on anything that I wrote today.
My favorite albums, songs, and movies of 2014 are coming soon, along with another blog or two.