Tag Archives: Hottest Music of the Year


Amber hit the club scene in the late ’90s on massive dance floors with explosive hits like “This is Your Night,” “If You Could Read My Mind,” “Sexual (Li Da Di)” and “One More Night.” I had just pulled her CD out the other day to listen to it before hearing from her team letting me know that she was hitting the road again on tour very soon. I was hoping to get Amber here on the website for an interview sharing what life has been like for her since then, her inspirations, what’s in store for the tour, and when and where fans can find her. And who she’s voting for in November. Here’s the grounded one in her own words…

Steven Michael – Amber, thanks for the few moments we have together! Big fan of your music here! I also have a Gay Dance Music Blog I’ll contribute this to in some form. Always brings back great memories of a fun past. When did you realize that you were beginning to have a delicious taste of fame? Was there a pinnacle moment that made everything appear to be happening for you?

Amber – “I never had the ‘taste for fame.’ Fame to me is more of a nuisance, which comes with this profession. I could have hired publicists and could have hooked up with other famous people for fake pictures but that just isn’t me.”

“I happen to enjoy my privacy very much. I am a very grounded girl at heart and just love making music and the joy I can spread with it. Not a media whore at all… lol. That ‘moment’ that you are referring to was probably really around 1999 where the hits just kept hitting. But I am a firm and also realistic believer that what goes up, eventually also will come down. I believe in staying humble and not think of myself on an alternate universe. And I am pretty sure, that this is the key point that in the end, I am still a working artist after 15 years.”

You seem very grounded. It’s always refreshing and comforting to know that there are celebrities who can live with humility after major success. How does it feel having fans still wanting more from you? Tell us about your upcoming tour and will there be any new music you’ll be performing?

“I have a very close connection with my fans and actually was one of the first, that decided to set up a message board on my then website. I give them a glimpse of myself as a person and want them to see beyond the false glamour of it all. And it is nice to see that many have followed with the social media evolving. After all, they are the ones, that have supported me and helped me to get to where I am today.”

“I have 2 dates confirmed right now in the US: 12/15/12 @ Nu Club in Richmond, VA and on 12/31/12 @ the Parliament House in Orlando, FL. There will no new music be performed at this time.”

Ah, spent many a crazy weekend in Orlando at the Parliament House. Love that place! Always a good time to be had by all. What do you find to be your fans’ favorite song you’ve done? It’s hard for me to decide, if asked, which is my most cherished. Nah, I could do it. “Above the Clouds,” by far.

“Sometimes hard to tell. I had a moment in time, where I wanted to cut certain songs out of my performance repertoire but got instant complaints about it. I believe, that every fan of mine has their individual favorite song of mine, which they connect to let it be through memories or a personal break through moment at some place in time. However… ‘Sexual’ still gets people to act crazy.” (laughing)

Who has been the biggest inspiration in your career? And in your personal life?

“I listen to an array of artists and genres. Funnily – not really Dance Music or Hip Hop. I would say that Barbra Streisand is one of my all time favorites. But I can also appreciate music by Coldplay, Sting, Jonathan Butler, Frank Sinatra, Michael Buble, Adele, Oleta Adams, Annie Lennox, Peter Gabriel or classical music by Chopin. So as you can see, very diverse and the list is endless really. It always comes down to that magical moment where the right voice collides with the right song with the right emotion and interpretation really.”

“In my personal life, I am a family girl and my Mom is my biggest inspiration.”

Biggest misconception about you, Amber?

“Probably that people think I am leading this perfect glamorous life and am insanely rich. People are easily fooled by the Top 10 highly publicized artists out there. They flash all their cars, houses and designer clothes, and people tend to reflect that on everyone that sings or acts in the limelight. I lead a very regular life and my family and my son, and their health is my priority. I do not even have a car… so there. But why is that? It is because I do not see ‘things’ as a priority in my life. And yes… others have taken advantage of that in my career. But at least I can have and live with a clear conscience.”

What’s private time with you like? Are you a homebody or do you find yourself out and about?

“I am an absolute homebody. Like to go for walks in nature and just enjoy the simple things in life and most of all… do not take them for granted. What a disappointment this must be… Ha-Ha!”

No, please. I love it. We (partner and I) live very public lives during the day at our jobs so when we’re at home we lock the doors and don’t leave, as well. I understand. Who have you always wanted to record with but haven’t had the opportunity?

“I would love to work with Annie Lennox, Sting and Peter Gabriel. They strike me as very decent and critical thinking individuals.”

I must admit that Above the Clouds is the song that my partner and I consider “our song.” It nails home our first year together perfectly. After 12 years going strong, we’re all good. Plus, when it was featured in the episode of Sex and The City, I just wept. The music made that final scene magical and the helped the touchy storyline brilliantly. Have you have fans express stories of how your music affected them?

“Oh yes, all the time. That is what makes music so beautiful and universal. People relate them to their own stories and moments in time. Although after the many stories that were shared with me through many fans, I am getting the strong impression that my music actually turns people gay.” (laughing)



That is hilarious! High-larity… Will you be making it to Palm Springs? We’d love to see you! Maybe at one of the few circuit parties we actually do have.

“I have been in Palm Springs a few times throughout my career. I remember a White Party many years back. Reality though is that it is up to the venues to want and book me. So if they do I guess I will be seeing you!”

What do you enjoy about performing and does it ever give you nerves or anxiety? I’m a choreographer and simply love the stage.

“I am always a bit anxious and think that is normal and comes with the territory. And I ALWAYS have to go to the bathroom just before the show. But once you go out there and receive a lovely welcome by the crowd and see them participating feeling a positive energy, it blows over fast.”

What and/or who makes you feel beautiful?

“Real beauty comes from character and how you live your life and by what principles. We are all unique and special in our very individual ways. I do not comply with the stereotyping of beauty standards forced upon us by media. I feel beautiful by being independent and being loved by my son, family and friends.”

Loving it! What and/or who makes you laugh until you cry?

“My mother and my brother are best at that.”

Other than the tour, what’s the future hold for you?

“We never know for sure. I am definitely planning on more music and am working on some ideas. But when it gets to that point, I will let everyone know.”

And finally, what have you always wanted to be asked in a interview but haven’t yet?

“The question here is… What have I not been asked throughout the countless interviews over years so far?”

“I leave that up to the interviewer always and if feel the need to get something across, I will find a way to insert it anyway. Like this one: OBAMA/BIDEN 2012!! Thanks for your time, Steven!”

Find Amber at the links below and support her tours if she comes to a town near you. Let her take you back to another place in time where carefree nights led into shameless mornings. Thanks to Amber for her honesty and gracious time. I’m truly looking forward for big things to come her way!

Contacting and Following Amber…





I’m a “True Blue” fan of Madonna, I am. From her not-so humble beginnings of telling Dick Clark on American Bandstand that she wanted to “rule the world” through her popular music, trendsetting and choices in men, I’ve known Madonna well. Now… she has no clue of who I am but I’ve seen the best of her and her at her worst. Many of us have. Regardless of what she does, people, especially gay men, have an opinion because more times than not she is, as she sings Causing a Commotion.

Madonna is a rule breaker and also someone who finds the rules comforting to be contained in. Let’s start at the beginning of my love affair with Madonna, pre-British accent but post-arrival to New York desperate for fame without means other than drive to get her there. After getting signed to her first record deal in 1982, the media, legions of fans and critics never grew weary of speculating what the “Material Girl” would do next. It was on this first album that brought us the deliciously teasing Lucky Star and celebratory Holiday.


Her appearance on the MTV Video Music Awards where she sang her scandalous chart-topper “Like a Virgin” quickly went down in MTV history as one of the most iconic performances ever. However, it was her book Sex that really gave people something to discuss. Fierce pornographic imagery of Madonna being masturbated by Wesley Snipes and Naomi Campbell, holding the late Joey Stefano at the Gaiety Theatre in NYC on a leash, and graphic fantasy displayed through poems and explicitness. She has always made sure people talk about her no matter what the price of shock value is in the going market.

Then came movies like Desperately Seeking Susan, Dick Tracy and Evita, to name a few. Her acting has been both revered and often panned but she unapologetically continues her path into entertainment history as a trailblazer and pioneer showing the world exactly what one woman can accomplish. Her latest film W.E. has gotten good buzz and attention for her direction. Madonna has proven time and time again that there’s nothing she cannot do.

Favorite memories of me and Madge: In 2000, I stood at the Black Party in Manhattan feeling my Ecstasy in hopes that because the DJ was playing the anthem hand-waver “Frozen,” Madonna would be descending from the ceiling of Roseland Ballroom. Everyone stood on the dance floor looking up at the mirror ball waiting. She never showed. I also happily attended her Sticky & Sweet Tour in 2008 in San Francisco with my friend Mikel where we could almost smell her in our second-row seats. We were very close to Madge, and she us.

MDNA from Madonna
Includes the Brand New “Give Me All Your Luvin'” and “Masterpiece”


I could continue on talking about how Madonna has influenced me or made we wonder what she was thinking at times, but I digress. Madame Ciccone’s recent performance during halftime at Super Bowl XLVI brought in an extra 3 million viewers who tuned into see her. Anticipation grew over time through carefully crafted promos and appearances. Plus, people knew that it would be grand in scale. Hello, it’s the Super Bowl. The fierce commercials, the beefy men bending over being grabbed by another at the waist, and something about touching down somewhere.

To feel passionate about something is to also have just cause to be honest with your true feelings about it even if it’s against the grain. If you didn’t care, you wouldn’t. I must admit that I feel the Madonna that we’ve seen in the last few years has found a niche of following the trend of what’s happening now to be current, which is fine. But I can’t say that I think her later musical catalogue can compare to her best work prior. The newest single “Give Me All Your Luvin'” is catchy, yes. But hardly groundbreaking like Ray of Light and the gorgeously creeping Rain.

During the Super Bowl performance, light panels filled the field and stage. Madonna entered in Roman drag with hunky Gods in sandals and drapes carrying her out like the queen she knows she is. It was her crowd and she owned every minute, even though the fierce Vogue opening was quite reminiscent of Kylie Minogue’s Aphrodite tour. In my opinion, Madonna was both lip-syncing and singing over her tracks live. She knows giving her audience what they want is smarter than risking the chance of a vocal malfunction. Overall it was a huge success! Low-point: Seeing our icon with one gold pompom in her hand three minutes too long. Highlight: Our queen at a career pinnacle looking amazing and delivering. L-U-V, Madonna!

2011 © PULP


Last evening the Dolls were giving The Princess time to erase Lashauwn’s departure note off the mirror on RDR before RuPaul delivered the inevitable She Mail across the screen basically plugging her albums Champion and Glamazon (available on Amazon and iTunes — wink!) Helping others is the theme for the Mini Challenge where the girls create butterfly headpieces for RuPaul super fan Piyah Martell who was born with Caudal Regression Syndrome that kept her spine and legs from fully developing inside her mother’s womb.

Through popularity and a fan base online and YouTube, RuPaul found this diva and brought her into the show to express that no limitation is to great to get around. Very Inspiring, she was. Butterflies flew and the winners were Phi Phi and Kenya with Jiggly who scooted on their bus because she was odd-queen-out, rather odd number of Dolls, so Mizz Caliente was able to choose which camp she wanted to be with. “The Pretty Girls,” she chose when everyone paired up and she was alone. They won! Piyah was lovely and the Pit Crew escorted her off with her new drag! GO GIRL!

The Main Stage Challenge was having two teams spilt up and create informercials for RuPaul’s albums with a theme in mind. Work. Wurq. Wherk! The teams get busy with Kenya as leader on one side with Dida taking over her role because she could and the other team with Chad Michaels turning out 80s realness with The Princess who struggled considerably. Phi Phi figured she’d give Sharon Needles a role in her usual “goth drag” which really stole the show. Some girls really felt their infomercial and others did not.

In the end, Glee diva Amber Riley and Natalie Cole sat with Santino and Michelle Visage on the judges podium while the Dolls delivered gold and platinum runway gorgeousness. When the announcements were made, Sharon Needles turned it! Chad and Kenya brought in the next top spots where as low queens on the totem pole this week were Dida and The Princess who would, of course, “lip-sync for their life.” As This Will Be (An Everlasting Love) played and Natalie knew the words (her song!) Dida worked that runway into her very own. Mamma owned that number, no question. The Princess couldn’t keep up and was instructed to “Sashay, Away!”

However, final thoughts… Michelle Visage is giving Chad Michaels the business about being “too perfect” like she was giving to Alexis Mateo last season. Here we go again! Also, do they provide razors to the Dolls? Hello, Five O’Clock Shadows…. There is a heavy base that would work for that! USE IT!


It’s New Year’s Eve and you have nothing to play! On your Apple iPod Touch, that it. What music will rock you into the new year and better yet, tonight?! The day is still young and there’s work to be done here in 2011 so get this going and enjoy the rest of your day (he said to himself aloud.) These tunes have been the ultimate music in the ears of listeners in 2011 and like any great music, it will be delivering for years to come. Let’s get playing!

One of the hardest working gals in the music industry today is Rihanna. I secretly love everything she does but encourage her to take a break before she burns out. Loud by Rihanna has more singles than I can count at time of publish of this post so guarantee the album is fierce! But know the singles you may not know now will soon, too, be radio chart toppers. Go Girl! “I like it, like it. C’mon.”

To be a Follower (capitalize that in honor of thee) is to also know good and well that I love them girls from the UK that have been turning it out for years without much America impact. Well, they are here or soon will be! Learn them! Love them. My girls have delivered an amazing new album with On Your Radar by The Saturdays. Being privy to media love on occasion I have already learned the entire album and worship it. Can’t wait for Frankie, Mollie, Vanessa, Rochelle (congrats on the engagement!) and Una (good luck with the new baby!) become household names in the US. Crossing fingers, and the pond. “And the whispers behind the frowns say ‘Girl, that ain’t pretty.'”

So, Miss Nicki Minaj is a lot of things to take at once but the main thing is that one should get used to her because she’s around for a while. Her style, wacko. He nerve, strong. Her talent, prominent. Her music, all over. Her best is here with Pink Friday [Deluxe Edition] by Nicki Minaj. If you’re a fan of Will.i.Am and THE E.N.D. (Energy Never Dies) by the Black Eyed Peas (another smash invasion of the hit singles) then you’ll want this! Trust. Another group that isn’t going very far anytime soon. “I like that Boom Boom Pow! I’m so 3008. You’re so 2000 and late.”

When musical groups become successful one or tow of them often feel they can branch out into their own foray as a solo artist. But when you’re as big, meaning number of members, as the Pussycat Dolls then after the spotlight begins to shift solo projects begin to sprout quite quickly. We have seen it finally work for Nicole Sherzinger after a few good efforts. Now we have Show Me by Jessica Sutta, the latest kitty purring her way onto the singles charts. Once you hear it, you’ll love it. “Words, words, all they are is stupid poetry in verse.”

And one for the road… the winners of the UK version of The X Factor are a girl group (yes, me and my girlies!) and from what I’ve heard, they sound really good together. Looking forward to hearing more from these new divas. Check out Cannonball by Little Mix and tell me what you think. And while you’re at taking this new sound, hear Video Games by Lana Del Rey. Fabulously haunting, romantically eerie and quite different than anything you’ve ever heard. Hear it.

Happy 2012!!! xoSM


The Saturdays have finally released their new album On Your Radar and I’m in an honest moral dilemma. It’s so damn hard to pick my favorite tracks without loving each one. Yes, I’m very serious. The album is so good and is in fact third studio album from the UK girl-group of Vanessa, Rochelle, Frankie, Una and Mollie! And I’m not just saying that because I worship these girls. The music is fierce and showcases the girls with fresh sounds and killer beats plus their always delicious power ballads. Let’s break it down…

First of all the cover art is fierce and gives you the mug of each diva with bare shoulders together as a group or there was the offer to get Collector’s Edition solo covers of each girl autographed via HMV or one of those online music websites, I believe. Of course that involves one to order it from over seas, paying extra which is fine. Hopefully when the girls break into America all of their catalogue will be available. Luckily I’ve got friends in precious places to provide what this media mogul should need to promote the best in entertainment. And into the review of On Your Radar.

“All Fired Up” … WOW. This jam is one hot ticket charting at 3 in the UK (just like epic ballad “Missing You” did in 2010.) The song gives an anthem club feel as the big echoing sound becomes more wicked as it progresses and is a common thread throughout this new album. This was their second single released (first track on the album) and the video (of course) was smoking hot with Molly King looking electric and platinum, wet ponytails flying out of water in latex and the girls posing the house down and we see Frankie’s newer pixie cut hairdo that became the rage. This song is where the girls found the name of their album from and Rochelle happily sings “We’re dancing on the bar” and Mollie purrs “We’re all animal, so get your claws out. Get your, get your claws out.” FUN! By the way, I sing the hell out of this song in my Jeep. Just saying.

“Notorious” … The first single from The Saturdays new album and it did very well on the charts in the UK peaking at 8. Once the beginning beats start pulsing you know you’re in for quite a mover and shaker. The video helped with their serious secretary work ethic of lip-gloss applications and party scene on the top floor with Frankie Sandford in a tiny mini carrying the girls into the banging chorus. Again, I love these “Outlaws, Big Bosses and Gangsters on the dance floor.” I really do.

“My Heart Takes Over” … The Saturdays doing what they know so well. Vanessa White brings home the passion she has for singing in this epic and familiar feeling ballad as she belts out “Cause if there’s a chance we might have missed. And if there’s a ray of light in this. You should know that this is where my heart takes over.” The video is dramatic, slow-motion and the girls are giving fashion mugging for your nerves with fan machines and walks in heels through grassy meadows.

“Faster” … Another dancer’s dream. Has the peaks and valleys of The Saturdays former hits but reminds me of Alexis Jordan’s “Hush, Hush.” Possibly it’s the chorus but it’s a dance floor filler and you can’t hate it. The lyrics are a bit storybook but the harmonies are LUV.

“Get Ready, Get Set” … Now these lyrics are a bit more racy, if that’s possible. Love this one! When Una sings “I can do it with my hands tied behind my back,” there’s no denying her fierce and unique voice. This song could be called “The More I Want,” but it’s not. However, it can get you tapping your foot to the beat if you can’t make it to nightclub. There’s nothing on this album I don’t really like a lot.

“The Way You Watch Me” … The Saturdays bring a kicky beat with this one that reminds me personally of “Why Me, Why Now?!” It makes me want to pony and toss my hair like a go-go dancer. Travie McCoy is featured here for support on the track though the girls didn’t record with him at the same time. Ah, the modern marvels of producing. This one is really fun!

“For Myself” … We get a rocking electric guitar coming in on this one. LOVE IT. “But I want you for myself!” This song rocks me and again, it’s a keeper. It gives the girls an edgy sound which is welcoming coming in at this point on the album. The most rocking track on their new endeavor.

“Do What You Want With Me” … If I were to make a very bold statement at this time, I’d say this. This track is (at this point) my favorite on the album. There I said it and made the decision. It’s a different sound and even the girls said they first weren’t feeling it but find it to be the coolest track on the new production. After the beginning piano leads into the a Mike and the Mechanics “The Living Years” sounding climb the girls sing their eyes out all the way up into the climatic backbeats that finish out the song which is completely unheard in former music by these girls. This is what I call an epic ballad. It’s grand and bigger than the speakers can contain. Hope it’s released as a single and I DIE for a video!

“Promise Me” … Commercially it will be a hit. It can easily fall among the other great tracks The Saturdays have had in the past and at 2:36 the beats get really, really ugly. I live for that damn part. Then it throws all hands up and carries you out.

“Wish I Didn’t Know” … Ballad lovers rejoice! This is what these girls do so well. Lyrically it makes one remember, think of the past or of current times. The song talks about all the wonderful things you can know about someone else and you’re wishing you didn’t know because it hurts you don’t have them anymore. Emotion, raw and pure.

“White Lies” … This is another commercial TKO from our UK darlings. It’s uptempo, catchy and will bring the crowds towards dance floors in months to come. Can’t stop singing it!

“Last Call” … The most honest track on the new endeavor. Almost acoustic and all piano. These are our voices and we can sing! The girls harmonize well and the song is prime and classic. I love it and find it refreshing to hear their voices unhidden from booming bass and overlaying textures of sounds. I’m sure remixes will ensue and soon.

“I Say OK” (UK Bonus Track) … This one climbs as it goes along picking up other rhythms and notes. Love it when Rochelle says, “Girl, that ain’t pretty.” This is about having fun which seems to be the overall theme of The Saturdays image and sound. Another kicker for all us sassy strutters!

“Move On U” (UK Bonus Track) … Along these same lines, another we-are-having-fun-so-join-us kicker. There’s near impossibility for someone to NOT love this new music from The Saturdays. Download the album, place it on shuffle and get ready to move your ass, or your emotions.


With the Holidays upon us (can’t believe it’s time to start saying those words!) I thought it would be smart to help ALL of you Christmas shoppers who are looking for the soundtrack of the year 2011 for your ears. Some songs may have been released in 2010 but these chart toppers hit hard in ’11 and will keep going! This is my favorite music to get you through holiday parties, long drives through snow to grandmother’s house you go, and to knock you into visions of sugarplums that dance in you head by presenting this list of the BEST MUSIC of 2011.

Starting this list of MUST HAVE MUSIC from 2011 is the Lady herself, Lady Gaga bringing us You And I. This song is one of those that makes you feel emotions all over the chart. I simply LOVE this music from Lady Gaga and will not listen otherwise. Actually, her entire album Born This Way – The Collection [2 CD / DVD Combo] is a fierce stocking stuffers for your little monsters!

To follow my blog here at iamstevenmichael.com is to also know that I am actually a much younger British tween that screams inside her head every time she hears The Saturdays. Dropping this next week my girls of Vanessa, Rochelle, Mollie, Una and Frankie have a NEW ALBUM titled On Your Radar and the tracks coming off of it already are pure ear candy from Notorious, “My Heart Takes Over” and “All Fired Up.” LUV THESE GIRLS!

Finally, Britney Spears is back and on top of the game she once ruled! This year her new album Femme Fatale spawned many a hit single including Till The World Ends, “Hold It Against Me” and my favorite I Wanna Go that is FUN PHUN! Everyone loves Britney! It’s her world and we simply live to listen and watch what’s next from her!

Recently named Esquire magazine’s “Sexiest Woman Alive” Rihanna has killed it from radio to dance floors to iPod playlists all year long and beyond with We Found Love and such mega-hits as S&M and California King Bed. From her past music catalogue to even newer tunes that are hitting radio today, Rihanna is here to stay! “Feels so good, being bad. There’s no way I’m turning back.”

My rock goddess Stevie Nicks has turned another stunner with her newest album In Your Dreams with my favorites: the Fleetwood Mac feeling Wide Sargasso Sea and delicious first single Secret Love. We saw her at Fantasy Springs Resort Casino over the summer and she entertains every time leaving a part of her on the stage even if it’s just a lost bead of piece of lace.

The current Mrs. Justin Beiber, Selena Gomez, gave me a video of fiercely windblown hair walking through the desert for her dance hit A Year Without Rain (Dave Audé Club Remix) remixed from her single of the same name. A slow motion diva feeling her moment and you have me staring at the television monitors at the gym daily. She looks amaze and love this song, both versions!

U.K. Boy-Band The Wanted nailed me hard with Glad You Came and if you like them cute and young then YouTube their videos. Delicious, and their music is good, too. They’re about to break into the U.S. so watch out for them. Both The Wanted and The Saturdays are making their ways onto our soil so fall in love now and be ahead of the curve!

Beyoncé came through with her album 4 (Deluxe Edition) that gave drag queens and wanna-bees the buzz to turn out Run The World (Girls) with the sassy strut that the Lady B delivers in her video. BAM! SHAZAM! My neck hurts after watching it because she throws it down. Her ballad which I coined as “Irreplaceable 2″ Best Thing I Never Had is also fabulous.

With time between judging “X Factor” Nicole Scherzinger turned me out with Don’t Hold Your Breath (Kaskade Remix) and “Club Banger Nation.” Seems like this Pussycat Doll has finally found her footing as a solo phenomenon and I give it to her. She is sickening and have loved her since Eden’s Crush.

The Grand Dame herself Cher hit the big screens this year with Burlesque and her power anthem You Haven’t Seen The Last Of Me with the remixes a’plenty! We love her and anything she does is the Tea with me. Always Cher. Forever. You will never see the last of her!

I hope this fun collection of the best and hottest music of 2011 helps you make some decisions to satisfy your need for ear candy. Once you’re in, look around and see what you’re missing! I bet you find something you simply can’t live without! Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!