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Iconic: A Brief History of Drag comes to Curve for one night only on Fri 1 Jun. In this blog, Velma Celli picks her top music of drag history.
What are your top five most iconic drag songs or artists of all time?
My top five now this is tricky as there are just SO many. Well first of all I would say…
I Will Survive
Yes, this classic disco song conveying female empowerment and strength must be one of the most classic drag songs of all time, not only because it has been lip-synched to by the thousands of queens all over the world during the last few decades but has earned its place in drag history in the iconic film, Priscilla, Queen of the Desert.
I Want To Break Free
This is my earliest memory of drag. Freddy and his (or shall we say her?) band mates dressed in full urban house wife drag in the infamous video. I chatted to Brian May and he tells me that the reason for this choice was to 1. Give a nod to the LGBT fans who have always supported Queen 2. To pastiche popular soap opera Coronation Street – in doing so highlighting the drudgery of urban life but celebrating it too.
I’ll Cover You
The glorious love duet between the two key roles of Angel and Collins in the mega hit multi-award winning musical, Rent. Playing the part of Angel was THE dream for me in terms of musical theatre ambition. I was thrilled to be invited to play the role on the 20th anniversary concert tour and it really did make my life. A beautiful show and incredible memories! The song celebrates love and embracing whoever you are so for me is one of the most iconic drag songs of all time.
Bowie played a massive role in pushing the boundaries of gender perception. He wasn’t afraid to dress in very feminine ways, even as a straight man. He challenged perceptions and dared to be different at a time when Freddie and Elton were still win the closet. Many believe Bowie opened that closet. For those who were ‘different’ he changed a feeling of shame in to one of celebration. In Iconic we celebrate Bowie with a new version of Under Pressure.
His work in the 80’s is the stuff of a music legend. A great pop writer but also an incredible composer of the musical Taboo – which in my opinion is his best work as writer. The touching song Stranger in this World is my personal favourite and you will hear a glimpse of it in the show.
A great top five! Join Velma on Fri 1 Jun as she celebrates the most iconic drag moments of film, stage and popular culture. Book your tickets here.