Vanessa Williams Talks about Her Gay Fans, Her Gay Friends, Gay Marriage, and Her New Album, Everlasting Love, in Stores Now

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Vanessa Williams has just released an amazing new album of '70s love songs called Everlasting Love. Here, she talks to her gay fans about issues that are important to them.

Vanessa Williams, one of the gay community’s most revered and idolized icons, will be releasing her new album of ‘70s love songs called Everlasting Love on January 25. The album includes such classics as “You Are Everything” (the first single and dance remix), “Midnight Blue” (originally recorded by Melissa Manchester), the Robert Flack classic “First Time Ever I Saw Your Face,” Stevie Wonder’s “Send One Your Love,” the Jackson 5’s “Never Can Say Goodbye,” and “With You I’m Born Again,” a duet with the legendary George Benson. (Complete track listing below.)

Vanessa Williams is known as one of the most versatile, multi-talented performers in the entertainment world. In addition to scaling the heights of the music charts with hits like the “Dreamin’” and “Save the Best for Last,” she has achieved glowing reviews and international notoriety for her acting career on Broadway, on television, and in movies (most recently in the feature “Johnson Family Vacation”). She was nominated for a Tony Award for her performance as the Witch in the recent revival of “Into the Woods.”

Here, Williams talks about her gay fans, her gay friends, gay marriage, and of course, her new album.

Q: Are you conscious of having a lot of gay fans?

A: Absolutely, particularly when I do any kind of Broadway event, whether it’s a show or singing at Carnegie Hall for an evening of Brazilian music—I definitely have a big theater contingency that shows up and are very well-versed in everything that I do. They know all of the composers and also give me good feedback on what I’m singing.

Q: What do you think it is about your music that appeals to gay people?

A: I think that my gift as a performer and what probably works for me as a singer when I record is that I can use my acting ability to be a storyteller. I think that “Save the Best for Last” did well not only because it was a well-written song and was very sentimental, but people could hear me smile while I was singing, they could connect with the wistfulness and the longing, which as a singer all comes from being able to do my acting homework. It’s more than vocal acrobatics or how long I can hold the note. I try to make it as intimate as possible. When you tell a story, and you make people feel, that’s what works for me.

Q: How do you feel about gay marriage?

A: I have no problem with it. I completely support it. I have many gay friends that are married. Close male friends of mine have been living together as a couple for over 20 years, and they have adopted a beautiful baby girl who is now 3-years-old. They are fantastic parents. Other gay couples I know are also looking to adopt and are trying to find the right combination. And then I have single gay friends who are adoptive parents.

Q: If one of your kids told you they were gay, how would you respond?

A: Well, I would probably immediately get on the hot line to all of my gay friends—we’d have a group meeting [laughs]. I probably would have sensed some signs early on, but I would say, “You’re going to have a difficult time ahead because you’re going to be perceived as different. And you’re going to have to be strong, and just remember we love you and support you.” Again, the support network would be so strong. There would be no way that I could be hypocritical--when you grow up as a dancer and in the theater, you are surrounded by gay people. My kids have also been surrounded by gay people their whole lives. They are so loving and welcoming, they don’t even question it.

Q: Would you ever play a lesbian in a television show or a movie.

A: Yes, if the role is great and the writing is great--absolutely.

Q: What do moral values mean to you?

A: “Do unto others” is a great rule to start off with. Love yourself, love the world, and treat people kindly is another one. And know that everyone suffers—that’s another big one.

Q: How did you end up choosing the songs on Everlasting Love?

A: Some are personal favorites of mine, and others were suggested by the record company. I had my list of songs that were from my record collection at my parent’s house. I even went home on a Sunday afternoon and set up my turntable and made my little mix tape like I used to do when I was in 7th and 8th grade.

Q: When can your gay fans expect to see you back on Broadway?

A: I hope soon. I hear everything that’s going on in town, but right now there’s nothing scheduled. But it’s something that I am always thinking about it.

Q: This word is way overused, but it’s hard to resist—do you see yourself as a diva?

A: [laughs] Yes, at times, when I’ve got the full drag on and I’ve just come offstage after a fabulous performance. The time I feel most like a diva is when I’m taking a final bow and getting roses thrown onstage and people are jumping and leaping to their feet and clapping. That feels great.

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Everlasting Love

Track Listing:

1. Tuning

2. Never Can Say Goodbye

3. Midnight Blue

4. Show and Tell

5. Let’s Love

6. First Time Ever I Saw Your Face

7. Everlasting Love

8. With You I’m Born Again

9. Send One Your Love

10. You Are Everything

11. One Less Bell to Answer

12. I’ll Be Good to You

13. Harvest For the World

14. Today and Everyday

For more information, contact:

Peter Galvin

Blue Streak Consulting

Office: 212-645-0630

Mobile: 917-453-4590

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