Tag Archives: supermodel

‘Born Naked’ a born winner

RuPaul is 53, and it has been more than 20 years since “Supermodel (You Better Work)” brought him tantalizingly close to the pop top 40. He has seen many pop-culture icons come and go since, but as the standard bearer of drag, he’s not only still standing but also flourishing.

Helping to celebrate the debut of the sixth season of his runaway success reality show RuPaul’s Drag Race, he’s released his sixth studio album Born Naked. And it appears to be a born winner. At No. 85, the album is his highest-charting on the Billboard 200. On the dance/electronic albums chart, Born Naked clocked in at a career-high No. 4.

Listeners unfamiliar with RuPaul’s music career will be pleasantly surprised by this solid, hook-packed collection of runway-ready dance pop. There are the expected floor-burning dance anthems such as “Dance With U” and “Modern Love.” RuPaul schools Britney Spears on what her Britney Jean dance workout “Work B**ch” should have sounded like with “Adrenaline.” To underscore the point, RuPaul chose Spears’ backup vocalist Myah Marie for a duet on “Adrenaline.”

The music that really stands out here are the surprises. RuPaul kicks off Born Naked stepping deep into hip-hop with New Orleans Bounce queen Big Freedia (performing at PrideFest on June 7) in tow. Planted in the middle of the song is an old-school disco-style “Don’t give me your love” refrain.

On another track, a collaboration with dance diva Martha Wash delivers a gospel-tinged recording of the ode to loving oneself “Can I Get an Amen?” On the title song and album closer, RuPaul joins with Australian rocker Clairy Browne to drive home the mantra, “We’re all born naked and the rest is drag,” in what sounds like a successor to Cyndi Lauper’s recording of “I Drove All Night.”

Tracks from Born Naked are not likely to come pulsating from your top 40 radio station any time soon. But RuPaul keeps the quality higher and stronger than many of today’s pop hits. A solid guest list helps bring home a great collection that will please RuPaul’s fans, as well as listeners pining for dance tracks with ‘80s pop flavor.

On stage

RuPaul Drag Race Battle of the Seasons comes to Milwaukee’s Turner Hall on April 29. 

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France’s former first lady for gay marriage but not feminism

France’s former first lady Carla Bruni says she disagrees with her conservative husband Nicolas Sarkozy and supports a plan to allow gay marriage and adoption.

In an interview with the French edition of Vogue for its December issue, the 44-year-old singer and supermodel said: “I’m rather in favor because I have a lot of friends – men and women – who are in this situation and I see nothing unstable or perverse in families with gay parents.”

France’s Socialists are pushing a bill that could see gay marriage legalized early next year. Though surveys have found that the majority of French people favor gay marriage, there has been a vocal backlash from religious leaders, voters in rural areas and ex-President Sarkozy’s own UMP party.

“My husband is opposed for reasons linked to his political vocation, because he sees people as groups of thousands rather than people we know personally,” she told the magazine – which featured a 20-page photo spread of her decked out in designer clothes, harking back to her supermodel days.

Bruni, no stranger to speaking her mind, also called feminism outdated – a view seemingly at odds with her image as an independent woman who forged careers in both fashion and music before settling down with Sarkozy.

“There’s no need to be feminist in my generation,” she said.

It’s not the first time Bruni has sparked controversy on the subject. Last month, Bruni said her successor, Valerie Trierweiler, should marry her partner, President Francois Hollande, and ditch her career as a journalist.

In an interview with the French edition of Elle magazine, she dished out advice to Trierweiler, saying: “I think it is simpler to be the legitimate wife of the head of state rather than being his partner.”

She added, “For my part, I felt a real easing of the general concern about me when I married Nicolas.”