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Aretha is front page news today

The death of Aretha Franklin is being so deeply felt and I think it is such a beautiful thing.

Yesterday in my office, one of my co-workers took a few requests for Aretha song to play on his computer. We listened to Say a Little Prayer, Spanish Harlem, and (You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman and all kind of had a moment.

Then after spending an evening in an Aretha YouTube wormhole, this morning I walked into my favorite coffee place and Chain of Fools was on and me and the owner started talking about Aretha.

Here are some of the front pages and magazine covers today about the death of the Queen of Soul.

But, of course, she really does live on forever in our hearts and in the soundtrack of our lives.


Morning Round-Up: Marc Malkin; Aretha Franklin; Nico Santos; Max Bemis; Sam Smith & Calvin Harris; RuPaul

A TV Personality, an HIV Diagnosis, and an Everlasting Love: Marc Malkin says his husband’s love and support gave him strength to come out as HIV-positive HIV Plus Mag

Aretha Franklin has been immortalized forever with these amazing memes Queerty

The Importance of Being a Crazy Rich Gay Asian Advocate

WATCH: Sam Smith Teams Up with Calvin Harris for Late Summer Jam ‘Promises’ Towleroad

“Say Anything” Singer Max Bemis Comes Out in Emotional Letter NewNowNext

Pearl From “RuPaul’s Drag Race” Accuses RuPaul Of Breaking Her Spirit DListed

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Snapped! Adam Rippon tries another sport!


A post shared by Adam Rippon (@adaripp) on

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Friday Morning Man: Nick Sandell!

Look, if model and actor Nick Sandell is going to work this hard on his body, don’t you think it’s our duty to stare at it a little? I take this duty seriously! If you want see more of Nick, check out his Instagram page.

Got the privilege of working with @michaelhallenbeckphoto today in Manhattan! I'm just being a wise ass in this exclusive behind the scenes footage don't mind me. Lastly, Where are my pants you ask? Not sure exactly but don't worry we got some clothing shots too #Manhattan #NYC #photoshoot #mycalvins #silvermodels

A video posted by Nick Sandell (@nick_sandell) on

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Happy 10th anniversary to Ellen & Portia!

Remember in 2008 when there was a brief window of time that same-sex couples could get married in California.

The passage of Proposition 8 put a halt to that – at least temporarily.

I remember seeing the photos of Ellen DeGeneres and Portia de Rossi in a People Magazine story and was so excited that all the world was seeing these images of two women deeply in love getting married. it wasn’t scary, it was just beautiful – and normal.

It’s a reminder of how much Ellen has done for LGBT visibility since coming out publicly on the cover of Time Magazine in 1997.

She’s helped so many of us see ourselves.

Happy anniversary Ellen and Portia!


In celebration of her 60th birthday, Madonna releases video of her MET Gala 2018 performance for her fans

Hard to believe, but the Material Girl turns 60 today.

Madonna’s landmark birthday is being overshadowed today by the passing of Aretha Franklin but it is still a mighty big deal to her fans and to the media which has been compiling favorite videos, performances, songs, and looks.Apart of Suddenly Seeking Susan and maybe Evita, it’s tough to compile the best movies.

Anyway, this is a really cool thing: Madonna herself has released video of her performance at this year’s Met Gala for all to enjoy.

Happy birthday to an icon!

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Morning Round-Up: “Grease” 40th anniversary reunion! Madonna 60th b-day tributes; Jonathan Van Ness; Lena Waithe; NHP & Lady Bunny

John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John reunite for Grease 40th anniversary event

Love Letters to Madonna From the LGBTQ Community Advocate

Queer Eye’s Jonathan Van Ness thinks US politics shouldn’t go ‘too left’ Gay Star News

Fox News anchor Ainsley Earhardt gets schooled by the Dictionary for on-air transphobic flub Queerty

Lena Waithe Says She Bought Out A Theater For ‘Crazy Rich Asians’ HuffPost

Lady Bunny & Neil Patrick Harris are Bringing Back Wigstock!

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Celeb Tweets: Aretha Franklin Tribute Edition

The world has lost the Queen of Soul, but we are all better people for having been given the gift of her supreme talent for so many years. Her final performance at the @ejaf fundraiser was powerful. We love you, Aretha. #queenofsoul #arethafranklin #respect #restinpower

A post shared by Billie Jean King (@billiejeanking) on

Goodbye sweet queen. Rest In Peace We lost the greatest. Ever. This picture is A night I’ll never forget. The queen summoned her court jester to do his Judy Garland impression for her at her 74th bday party. The clown obeyed.

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GOD bless you #ArethaFranklin thank you for sharing your beautiful gift with generations! #queenofsoul

A post shared by Sam Champion (@samchampion) on

She was an artist like no other, she wrote, she played, and she sang and filled us with the spirit. We both received honorary doctorates from #Berkleecollege she made sure I knew that her sister Erma Franklin was the first one to sing Piece Of My Heart. I was blessed to have met her. #ArethaFranklin #arethafranklin #aretha #queenofsoul

A post shared by Melissa Etheridge (@melissa_etheridge) on

That voice. That soul. That spirit. I was always a fan – aren’t we all? Then, out of the blue, The Queen summoned me to tea last year at the Ritz. She wanted to talk Housewives. I was at her service. She talked about the ladies like they were characters on a Soap Opera and I interspersed questions about her life and career. We swapped numbers and texted about what was happening with the girls in Atlanta. She put me in her phone as “Mr Cohen/Housewives”. It tickled me to no end. LONG LIVE THE QUEEN.

A post shared by Andy Cohen (@bravoandy) on

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Elton John & David Furnish pay tribute to Aretha

The loss of Aretha Franklin is a blow for everybody who loves real music: Music from the heart, the soul and the Church. Her voice was unique, her piano playing underrated – she was one of my favourite pianists. I was fortunate enough to spend time with her and witness her last performance – a benefit for the Elton John AIDS Foundation at St John The Divine Cathedral. She was obviously unwell, and I wasn’t sure she could perform. But Aretha did and she raised the roof. She sang and played magnificently, and we all wept. We were witnessing the greatest soul artist of all time. I adored her and worshipped her talent. God bless her. My condolences to all her family and friends. We shared the same birthday – and that meant so much to me. The whole world will miss her but will always rejoice in her remarkable legacy. The Queen is dead. Long live the Queen. @arethasings #RIP #ArethaFranklin #QueenOfSoul @ejaf

A post shared by Elton John (@eltonjohn) on

There are moments in your life that you never forget. I took this photo of Aretha Franklin at what turned out to be her very last performance. It was at a benefit for the Elton John AIDS Foundation at the spectacular Cathedral of St John The Divine in New York. Elton and I went to greet her before the show and were taken aback at how thin and frail she appeared. She looked at Elton with the sweetest smile and said “I didn’t want to let you down”. Such class. The performance she generously gave everyone was overwhelmingly moving. There she was channeling the spirit of GOD in that beautiful church surrounded by the most dazzling backdrop of candles. Everyone in that room knew they were witnessing something truly special that night. She played and sang magnificently. You can see Elton in the foreground of this photo completely enraptured. He couldn’t stop crying. He knew he was probably seeing one of his greatest musical inspirations and idols for the very last time. How fitting that her final performance was in that beautiful church. How fitting that her final way of saying goodbye was by helping others and saving lives. Aretha Franklin shared a gift of musical talent of bountiful enormity. She brought the world so much joy and happiness. She touched our souls with her beautiful humanity. God bless her and all her family and friends. Her spirit will live on through her music and continue to touch so many lives for generations to come. @arethasings @eltonjohn @ejaf @ejafdn #RIP #ArethaFranklin #QueenOfSoul

A post shared by David Furnish (@davidfurnish) on

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WATCH: A candid 2014 interview with Aretha

In this terrific 2014 interview, the late Aretha Franklin talks about her new album “Aretha Franklin Sings the Great Diva Classics,” Adele, Taylor Swift and being a diva.

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Twitter tributes to the late, great Aretha Franklin from LGBT stars, icons and allies

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The great Aretha Franklin, the undisputed Queen of Soul, has died in Detroit at age 76

The Queen is dead.

Long live the Queen of Soul Aretha Franklin who has died at the age of 76.

We’ve known for days that she was gravely ill and yet it’s still hard to believe she’s gone after being such a big part of the soundtrack of our lives for so long.

The 18-time Grammy winner had so many hits including RESPECT, Chain of Fools, I Say a Little Prayer, Think, and, of course, (You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman.

Aretha performed A Natural Woman at the 2015 Kennedy Center Honors in Washington before an audience that included songwriter and honoree Carole King, President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama — drawing a tear from the president and sheer elation from King.

“One of the three or four greatest nights of my life,” Franklin told The New Yorker of that performance, which went viral on YouTube.

Below is that performance and some of my other favorites by Aretha over the years.


A shirtless Lee Pace is “lost”


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Thursday Morning Man: Lucas Pouille!

This is a big week for French star Lucas Pouille who got engaged to his girlfriend.

My blogger pal Kenneth in the 212 made me laugh out loud when he posted a sexy photo of the French star stretching (below) and remarked: i don’t know WHAT she sees in him.

He reached a career-high ranking of 10th earlier this year but has since dropped to number 20.

Lucas is 24, has won five ATP tournaments, and in 2016 reached he quarterfinals of both Wimbledon and the US Open and received the ATP World Tour Award for the Most Improved Player of the Year.

He has career victories over such stars as Rafael Nadal, Dominic Thiem, and Juan Martín del Potro.

Late Night Video: In wonderful scene from “Love, Simon,” gay teen’s mom tells him: “You are still you”

Absolutely love this scene between Nick Robinson and Jennifer Garner in the film Love, Simon. Robinson plays a gay teen who has recently come out to his family – his mom, dad, and younger sister. Garner plays the mom.

In this scene, mom and son have a post-coming out heart-to-heart.

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Snapped! Trevor Donovan and his dogs!

Don't refer to terrible people as Dogs. When has a Dog ever purposely made you cry or question your worth?…..or privately recorded you. #dogsofinstagram #trevdon #animals

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WATCH: Check out Tom Daley’s home Kettle Bell workout that can be done anywhere

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Morning Round-Up: Molly Shannon; Aretha Franklin; RuPaul and Leslie Jones; “True Love or True Lies”

Straight Aussie reality star opens up about gay past, says “I’ve hooked up with one of my mates before” Queerty

Molly Shannon’s Very Personal Queering of Emily Dickinson NewNowNext

Ailing Aretha Franklin visited by Stevie Wonder, Jesse Jackson at her Detroit home

See the moment RuPaul makes Leslie Jones’ Drag Race dreams come true Gay Star News

True Love or True Lies’ gay couple exposed as fakes Pink News

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Roger Federer on gay male tennis players coming out publicly: “I’m all for it. It’s a good thing”

We are still waiting for a gay male tennis player to come out during his playing career.

But at least we’re talking about it.

In 2017, retired pro Brian Vahaly became the highest-ranking male pro tennis player to come ever out publicly – 10 years after his retirement from the ATP tour.

I wrote yesterday about Brian being a part of Open Playbook: Being Queer & Out in Pro Tennis which will take place the evening of Aug. 23 in New York City.

Wimbledon finalist Kevin Anderson plugged the event on Twitter writing in part: “Words that come to mind when I think about people who are Out: courageous, strong, progressive, fearless and leaders.”

World number 2 Roger Federer, defeated by Anderson in the Wimbledon quarterfinals, was asked about Anderson’s very public support of gay people and if the ATP tour is a safe place for a player to come out.

Fed tells Jonathan Newman of The Body Serve: “I think no problem at all. It’s true that we have not had it. Don’t know why, you know? Have we not had any, or some players have just chosen not to do it. I think it would be totally accepted, no problem. I’m all for it, it’s a good thing … it doesn’t matter where you come from, who you are. I’m all for it that you’re open about it. I think you’ll feel better in the process, to be honest, and everyone should support one another on this planet.”


Wednesday Morning Man: Nikoloz Basilashvili!

Nikoloz Basilashvili isn’t a household name but he is the 36th ranked male tennis player in the world.

I just love his headbands.

Last month, he made it into the main draw of the German Open in Hamburg as a qualifier and went on to win the tournament, defeating Leonardo Mayer in the final and becoming the first Georgian player ever to win an ATP tournament. With winning his first title, Basilashvili moved to No. 35 in the world standings, his highest ever ranking.

It’s the highest ever by a player from Georgia.

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