Monday, 3 October 2011

Jake Shears, US/UK. Singer, Scissor Sisters

b. October 3, 1978

Jason F. Sellards, aka Jake Shears, is the lead male vocalist for the American music group Scissor Sisters.

Born in Arizona as the son of an entrepreneur father and a Baptist mother, Shears grew up on San Juan Island, north of Seattle. While living on San Juan Island, he attended school at Friday Harbor High School, where he was bullied. At 18, he moved into a dorm at The Northwest School in Seattle and finished high school there.Shears came out to his parents at the urging of Dan Savage, who later called his advice "the worst I've ever given". (In 2010, he participated in Savage's It Gets Better Project.)

At 19, he was introduced to Scott Hoffman (Babydaddy). Shears and Hoffman hit it off immediately and, a year later, both moved to New York. For a while, Shears was a fixture on the New York gay and electroclash scene.

Shears and Hoffman formed the Scissor Sisters in 2001 as a kind of performance art lark, playing outrageous shows in clubs like Luxx, the heart of the electroclash scene in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, where Shears lived. After a couple years struggling in New York (working with record label A Touch of Class, who produced "Comfortably Numb" and "Filthy/Gorgeous"), the Sisters finally found success in the UK and Ireland—ending 2004 with the biggest-selling album of the year in the UK.

He was listed at number 45 on the DS list of "50 Most Influential Gays", 2011:

Flamboyant, talented and a dab hand with a sequined costume wouldn’t even begin to do him justice. The Scissor Sisters front man came out to his parents as a teenager and has never looked back. Although the band’s hits may have dried up in recent years, his determination not to shy away from challenging his audience hasn’t. Take the artwork for their last album Night Work, for example, which featured the clenched buttocks of a male ballet dancer. “I had to fight like hell for that picture,” he says. “I had one of the guys from my record company call me up and tell me it was going to be one of the biggest mistakes I've ever made in my whole career. I just thought if it was going to pose any challenges for us, then those are challenges we can transcend.”

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