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Gold, Ari (b. 1977)  
 
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After graduating from Yeshiva High School, Gold studied music and cultural studies at Yale University, then transferred to New York University where he earned his B.A.

While in college Gold decided that if he was going to continue to write and sing, he wanted to be the kind of artist he never saw growing up: "not just out and proud from the beginning of my career but also singing about life as a gay man."

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Influenced by such artists as Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye, Al Green, and Whitney Houston, as well as the club music of the 1970s and 1980s, Gold developed his style by infusing Rhythm and Blues with a fresh, specifically gay sensibility. Inasmuch as R&B and Hip-Hop music scenes are sometimes considered , Gold's audacity in this musical genre is especially impressive.

He began performing his original music at New York City hotspots like Joe's Pub, Fez, China Club, Barracuda, Metronome, Avalon, Pyramid, Splash, Bar d'O, Starlight, and CBGB's, all the while working on his self-titled debut album, which he released in 2000.

To launch and promote his CD, Gold took advantage of marketing and distribution outlets made possible by the Internet and also created his own web site. Good reviews also helped the album find an audience. For example, Billboard Magazine described the CD as "steeped in sticky pop melodies, sing-along hooks, and butt-shakin' funk rhythms . . . solid radio-ready material."

Ari Gold included explicit gay love songs, such as "Write Me a Love Song" and "Home." In the former, Gold sings openly about his lover asking him to write him a song about love between men.

The album won the 2002 Outmusic Award for Outstanding Debut Recording. Later that year, Gold was named one of Genre Magazine's "Men We Love."

The debut album caught the attention of Desmond Child who had worked with stars like Ricky Martin, Cher, Kelly Clarkson, and Aerosmith. Child and Gold collaborated on the single, "I'm All About You," which debuted on the top 20 U.K. charts and became a top 10 dance hit. The video was heavily played on MTV in the U.S. and The Box in the U.K. The single was co-written with garage stars DJ Luck and MC Neat; Gold performed with them on almost every major TV and radio show in the U.K. to support the single.

In 2004, Gold released his sophomore album Space Under Sun on his own label, Gold18 Records. It debuted as #1 on the Outvoice Charts, and Gold was featured on the covers of many gay magazines. The album solidified Gold as an emerging gay musical star. Metro Source Magazine named Gold one of the "25 People That Make Us Proud."

The album includes songs about such subjects as a man and woman fighting over the same man ("He's on My Team") and the trauma of getting caught by the cops having sex in public ("Caught"). It also includes the tender ballad "Bashert (Meant to Be)," which reflects Gold's Jewish identity.

Two music videos based on songs in Space Under Sun achieved independent success. "Wave of You" is still played on Rock America and For Promo Only. It is also featured as a DVD extra on "Boys Life 4: Fourplay," a series of gay-themed Indie shorts from Strand Releasing. The video also became a mainstay on the newly launched LOGO television network and went on to make the list of LOGO's best videos of 2005.

Gold's second video from Space Under Sun, "Love Will Take Over," bumped Madonna out of the #1 spot on LOGO's list. The video has been played on HBO Zone, Rock America, and For Promo Only.

On the tour for Space Under Sun, Gold opened for RuPaul and Chaka Khan and headlined clubs and festivals in France, Italy, Switzerland, Belgium, the Czech Republic, and Canada. He also toured 25 cities across the United States.

Space Under Sun won the 2005 Outmusic Award for Outstanding New CD. The song "Bashert (Meant to Be)" was included on the ACLU's fund-raising CD Marry Me, released in 2004 to benefit the effort to secure the rights of same-sex couples.

Riding the success of his first two albums and related videos, Gold emerged as a refreshingly open public personality. He appeared in fashion magazines like W and VIBE, for which he was photographed by Walter Chin and chosen as one of "The Stylistics" in the January 2002 issue. He was named one of the "9 Hottest Men in NYC" by H/X magazine, and one of the hottest men in the world by DNA magazine.

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