Ari Gold, the charismatic queer musician who was mentored by RuPaul, opened for Chaka Khan and sung with pop-soul titan Diana Ross, has died. He was 47.
Gold, according to multiple news reports, passed away from leukaemia.×
Performing since he was just five years old, Gold went from voicing the squeaky Cabbage Patch Kids and recording catchy jingles to touring the world with Cyndi Lauper and modelling for Boy George.
Born in 1974, Gold quickly seized the house music scene as an openly gay musician in New York City, US, in the early 2000s. Living up to his surname, Gold spun up award-winning and chart-topping hits such as “See Through Me” and “Where the Music Takes You”.
The Bronx native’s music, equal parts finger-snapping and lyrically powerful, often explored spirituality and sexuality. They were even featured on NBC’s Scrubs and ABC’s Cougar Town.
Friends described Gold as a world-wise and ambitious record producer who paved the way for future queer talent – he sang of same-sex love in Manhattan music clubs and honky-tonks years before mainstream artists would feel comfortable doing the same.
They had first met in 2002 and remained close ever since, with Gold appearing in the queen of drag’s 2007 film, Starrbooty.