Our favorite divas from the U.K. smash girl-group The Saturdays have stopped for a hot minute from having babies and getting married to release their greatest hits disc called Finest Selection. The compilation also contains three new tracks that are destined to be hits! All of their best songs are included from gay dance floors fillers to power ballads raw with emotion. The disc is coming out in two sets. One with only one disc and the other with three discs including even more hits from days past, edits and remixes. The booklet from the single disc set includes personal notes from each the girls and music credits. Not much more. Hopefully the bonus set will include more reflection on a vast and exciting career. There were some missed opportunities on this first disc release inside the booklet. However, the music will always be pop candy perfection and it’s all here in a great format. Here’s my take on the catalogue. Plus, I’ll also review certain aspects of their individual video releases too!
As the last pieces of pageant gig are put away until next time, I’m able to truly reflect on my recent adventure to compete at E.O.Y. and what it meant to me to be onstage once more. I’m also able to realize what I can accomplish, how others support or do not, and if it’s all worth it at the end of the day. This is my journey to the Entertainer of the Year 2014 contest pageant event. Also known as E.O.Y. Enjoy the read. X THE STORY CONTINUES HERE…
I was hoping to take a hot minute or two off from it all upon my return from our Sin City Christmas but since everyone has chimed in about Britney Spears’ opening night of her 100-show residency at Planet Hollywood, it’s my turn. Granted my seat wasn’t as close as say Miley Cyrus’ 50-yard-line worshiping center of Britney’s universe but I could see just fine. That’s considering I was on my feet 95% of the show. Sorry for the ones behind me watching me shake my ass, wave my fists and film a majority of the show who were not joining in. It’s a concert performance. GET UP!
My buddies Sy Boccari and David Lee Rotten of Naked Highway sent me a really cute gift package including an autographed t-shirt, stickers and promo souvenirs plus David’s debut single, a cover of Cher’s If I Could Turn Back Time. I posted a sexy snap of me in the t-shirt on Instagram and the compliments made me feel really good. I promised the boys that I would post a selfie as soon as I got the drag. It was mild for me considering…
A few years ago I stumbled upon pictures of this very hot guy performing queer punk music under the guise of Nick Name. At the time he was giving me a mix of Henry Rollins and metal-shredder Scott Ian from Anthrax with a familiar dash of any in-you-face turn-us-out rockers from our day. And I say “our” day because anyone reading this of any age or generation knows the type I’m telling of. Current musical gruffers and scruffers have included Limp Biscuit, Korn and the like. Little did I know that Nick Name was so much more than just a catchy moniker.
I first saw this entertainer in print adverts for her tour with dance floor fantastix Erasure while thinking to myself, who is this grand glamazon? Shontelle T. Sparkles has brought her own signature of fierceness into the ever-changing world of drag while infusing glamour with can’t-be-touched hairstyles, illusion and transformation. Having the opportunity that many queens would kill for, Sparkles sheds light into the world of “making it work,” touring with Erasure, her sister Trinity Taylor of La’ Whore, realistic expectations and how dreams comes to fruition.
Everyone knows I’m just a 13-year-old British tween sporting my kicky Frankie Sandford haircut deep inside my inked amour of manliness realness, beard and shaved skull. I’m just saying… To know me is to love me. I’m excited to announce that The Saturdays have released new single “Gentleman.” This is the third single from their upcoming fourth studio album dropping soon. IT’S FUN! Really fun.
I heard part of the track during an episode of Chasing The Saturdays on E! and knew I was going to love it once I heard the whole thing. And remixes hare already arrived to my inbox. I had found myself diving head first into a Girls Aloud video-watching-song-listening frenzy. But when “Gentleman” arrived during my recent trip home to Nashville I was strutting my shizzle down the DFW airport terminals with earbuds in place learning my words and lip-sync.
The girls have denied rumors that their reality show has been canceled as representatives for the group say it was only commissioned for one season of 10 episodes with a possible Christmas episode in the works. Nonetheless, I’m thrilled with their success. It’s been said that ratings were low because America likes drama and didn’t have that since the girls actually like each other. I can see that. We enjoyed the show. Even my husband got into it. We love the no drama.
Here’s the single audio for “Gentleman” – a new track telling of how hard it is to find a gentleman in these days and times by UK darlings and super hit-makers The Saturdays. Reports tell of body doubles being used for the girls during the video shoot which sounds very interesting. It will definitely find its place on the best gay dance tracks of 2013. And congratulations to Frankie for her engagement and pregnancy!
Model and actor Anderson Davis is not only a competitive athlete but is also the hot Zesty Italian Dressing man you see in those tantalizing commercials. They do get your attention, don’t they? And yes I’m talking about his pecs. Delicious. It takes something really special in our queer culture today to grab us by the balls and say, “Buy this supermarket dressing because he is hot!” This new commercial below makes me giggle, with girly glee. Slap that dough, you man beast.
Anderson Davis is just too hot for words. Housewives love him while gay men worship. Obviously Kraft is in on the joke. They know a sexy hunk will get your attention in this A.D.D. infused world we live in today. Is Anderson Davis gay?! Who cares?! I’d love to think so, but he hasn’t come out officially. I see a very bright future for this one! Here’s another one of Anderson Davis’ commercials. Man, he can work some velcro rip-away moments. Check him out!
Of course, these are my fabulous highlights and may not be exactly the same as yours. But I suppose that’s why you’re reading mine to see what my eyes hath seen over the weekend of PS Pride 2012 here in the Coachella Valley. Curiosity killed the cat, so “Meow!” and away we go!
It all started on Friday where we saw the sexy visitors and muscles flowing throughout World Gym. We always run a weekend pass and it is THE place to be seen over the weekend when getting your pump on for Pride or any major weekend, for that matter. “Witness our fitness,” I always say. Having the best seat in the house up front at the Concierge Desk offers us visions of stunners and their stories and personality that ensue. Ah, I love our guests. They always entertain me year after year. I just passed my 8th year anniversary at the gym which is amazing to say. I’ve seen quite the bevy of beauty that parade through daily. We have Gay Pride every single day of the year walking around our track in our comfortable bubble known as World Gym Palm Springs.
Saturday was our performance with local indie/electro rocker Mac Valentine at the PS Pride Festival Grounds on the Rainbow Stage. Shaun danced and sassed with us and I was thrilled to have him onboard because I could have verbalized the choreography and he probably could have done it verbatim he’s that good. We were lucky to have Shaun on Mac’s team. I was so damn proud of Mac. He has a natural desire to dance that he’s never really explored until now and has great rhythm. He ate almost all of the choreography that I threw at him. I was impressed after our first rehearsal.
Of all the productions I’ve choreographed (and there’s been a few!) this was one of the overall best. From Mac’s dedication by rehearsing on his own, the fun moves and steps, to the energy we three had and by leaving all on the stage we couldn’t have asked for much more. Well, although the stage was quite wide about 35′ it was only about 5′ deep with band equipment on it. It was as if someone opened a beautiful silver food truck and said, “Perform.” It was an odd shape but we made it work dodging wires, speaker monitors and a drum set.
The best part of it was seeing our friends in the audience. Saturday is not the bigger of the two days at the festival so we didn’t really know if we’d get support to come out and applaud. We had the biggest crowd which wasn’t packed by any means but it wasn’t about that. It was about Mac pushing outside his comfort zone, for people to see what I do with my choreography and to celebrate our pride at such a crucial and tense moment during these last minutes of the elections. It was a great first performance for Mac Valentine and High Velocity.
For those who did stay and support us through the slight schedule delay and hang for our performance, it means more than words can say here. You know who you are and please know from me personally that it was priceless being a true showgirl for you dressed in Nasty Pig Thug Punk Realness. We didn’t hold back. And as they say, we left it all on the floor. Of course, it was really fierce when I tried to walk offstage earlier than I should have and had one more chorus to nail. I flashed a big smile, gave a Whoops! and jumped in on counts 3,4 and kept going on.
Afterwards we walked the vast grounds a bit with John, Rob and Tim Courtney before heading home. I figured I’d need a Vicodin since somehow I got my leg up past my head on a fan kick during “Dancing On My Own” and decided beforehand to kick now – worry later. My flexibility is not as it once was but it was nice to see that I can get it up there when I need to. Pun intended. It was great getting into the studio again since I’ll begin rehearsal for Mr. All American Gent 2013 very soon. Overall, we had one amazing day!
Later on we made it to Michael Crisp and Kenny’s home for their Anti-Bullying Education Charity Event which assists teachers attend important seminars and workshops that due to budget cuts could risk not attending. Their home seemed to hold every “who’s who” in the Valley for the weekend. We enjoyed the fabulous company of others for over an hour while having their “Booze and Nuts.” Luckily we ran into a few good friends that we don’t see very often and of course gave big smooches to the hosts, the delicious duo Michael and Kenny. The donation of $20 at the door was well worth such a great cause since I too was greatly bullied in school. It would have been nice that someone cared then to learn how to deal with it. Their website cescal.org gives all the details and how you too can help!
Sunday brought on Daylight Savings Time so we were up quite early. Once we got downtown for the parade we found reasonable parking and decided on having brunch at Jake’s before strolling down to meet the boys. The energy was thick with LGBTQ pride even through the disgusted discussions of the local endorsement for Romney from the Desert Sun Newspaper. What a slap in the face on the day of Gay Pride. Talks of boycotts have ensued on Facebook and on the boulevard today. I’m so over politics.
With our walk we ran into many good buddies and I even had a few shout outs about a job well done yesterday. It felt good being onstage once again. The parade is always fun but tiring. The numerous lulls are ridiculous and when there’s no music piped through anywhere during said lulls it becomes almost a joke for some sort of entertainment. The line at Starbucks was CRAZY and I really felt for the staff. However, they were having fun paying it no mind. Reminded me of our staff.
There were plenty of eye-catching sights but after seeing Delorian Chase – Miss Gay California United States – acting a fool down the parade route, then nailing the splits in a fabric gown on Palm Canyon Blvd. I simply had to post the video. She stole the show. The sunshine was blazing down and it was about time to find some air-condition and shade. We followed up behind the cheerleaders before finding the the car and home.
One amazing weekend. It was fun being involved and getting out into town to be social. It looks like the weather changes drastically by Friday so it was a great send-off into the holidays. We’re spending Christmas at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas and I already have visions of three sugar plums in a slot machine dancing in my head. And as Stevie Nicks croons so stunningly I Can’t Wait, I Can’t Wait.
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 forme 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!
I consider myself a true connoisseur of everything fierce happening in Gay Pop Culture News and LGBT Trends. Living in Palm Springs provides me generous exposure to what's happening in Hollywood and L.A. through trusted industry insiders. My opinions form here through my published works.
During travel adventures to Las Vegas and beyond I develop stories about what trends are hot and what celebrities are not in Entertainment, Travel, Fashion, Gay Dance Music and Reality TV.