Imagine Britney, Xtina, Gaga, Mariah, Whitney, Beyoncé, and Rihanna all together in one video – well, this is as close as we can get!
A rising pop star, Rupaul’s Drag Race Queens, and award-winning trans activists have come together to honor your favorite pop divas and celebrate PRIDE month in this epic mini-movie that will hit you with just the right amount of OMG and nostalgia.
The best part? It’s all an effort to raise money and awareness for LGBT youth through the It Gets Better campaign. At first glance, the clip might seem like just a campy fun concept, but new artist Justin Michael Williams – who is the lead singer of the video – says the inspiration is much deeper than that.
Williams explains, “Like many of us, I was forced to be in the closet as a kid. I wasn’t able to fully express myself without getting teased and ridiculed and music was my outlet.”
The narrative mirrors Williams’ experience growing up. His character starts repressed and worn out until he is swept away by Mariah Carey (portrayed by Drag Race star Eureka O’Hara), who plays the fairy godmother of the mini-movie. She introduces Justin to a world of magic and authenticity – a dream world of drag queens and trans activists who recreate these iconic pop divas:
- Whitney– Nina Bonina Brown (Rupaul’s Drag Race Season 9)
- Xtina – Aja (Rupaul’s Drag Race Season 9)
- Mariah– Eureka O’Hara (Rupaul’s Drag Race Season 9/10)
- Britney– Sasha Colby (Former Miss Continental)
- Gaga – Aurora Sexton (Former Miss Gay USofA)
- Beyoncé – Miss Shalae (International Viral Beyoncé Impersonator)
- Rihanna – Barbie’s Addiction (RuPaul’s Drag Race, VMAs)
“Our community loves these artists because they gave us all a way to express ourselves and channel our inner diva when we weren’t allowed to in the real world,” says Williams. Nina Bonina Brown, who performs a retro Whitney Houston in the mini-movie, says, “Whitney was a force to be reckoned with, so I’m honored I was chosen to play such a huge icon especially for an upcoming icon such as Justin Michael Williams.” The video is all about taking off your mask and being proud of who you are. It gives a strong representation of all colors, genders, and sizes and stands for UNITY – everyone coming together for PRIDE to celebrate their uniqueness, differences, and all the goodness in between.
“It was an honor to represent the queen of the butterflies!” Says Eureka, “As I am a plus-sized queen who has opened my mind and heart to body positivity, I do feel like somewhat of a butterfly!” From its conception, it was important to Williams that this video specifically raised money and awareness for LGBT youth. “I never want a child to go through mental turmoil many of us went through as kids,” says Williams. “The It Gets Better campaign is supporting a new generation of deeply empowered, authentic LGBT youth who will be the next leaders of our community.”
You can donate to the It Gets Better campaign HERE!
Justin Michael Williams brought together a powerhouse team of talent both in front of and behind the camera to make sure the mini-movie (“Divas Medley” )had artistic integrity to properly honor and pay homage to his favorite Divas. The video was creative directed/produced by Justin Michael Williams, Brad Hammer (Producer/Director), and Chantal Robson (America’s Got Talent, Little Big Shots), and shot by Shawn Adeli (Todrick Hall). The music was arranged by Jared Jenkins (#HAM4BEY, #GAGA4RENT) and produced by LA production trio Trap Noir.
The “Divas Medley” is a fun departure from Williams’ debut album Metamorphosis, which debuted in the iTunes top 20 Pop charts. It shows off his impressive vocal range as he soars through some of the top hits from the 90s and early 00’s. “I remember secretly hiding in my room and learning these songs and choreography as a young, closeted kid, so releasing this project is oddly healing for me. My little inner 13-year old self is so excited right now!”
Watch the Divas Medley mini-movie on YouTube below and follow It Gets Better on MOOVZ!
Justin Michael Williams was thrust into the spotlight when his debut album, METAMORPHOSIS premiered at #18 on the iTunes Pop Charts, along with features by Spotify, NewNowNext, and Afropunk. Although Williams is still an independent artist, several critics say Justin’s urban pop sound and thundering falsetto rival mainstream acts like Maxwell, Justin Timberlake, and Prince.
You can follow Justin on instagram @wejustwill and www.justinmichaelwilliams.com