Todrick Hall, a queer fantasy 360º
Todrick Hall is one of the most talented all-terrain artists (or quadruple threat, as they would say in Hollywood) of the moment. In this article, we tell you the reasons why he has become a queer icon of our generation.
In 2009, the multidisciplinary artist traveled from Dallas to Los Angeles to sing in front of Simon Cowell, and the rest of the American Idol jury. He sang a song that he composed while he was in the shower, a tune that left no one indifferent.
After getting the approval of the four judges, he went on to take part in the Hollywood week of the TV show. He made his way to the semi-finals and eventually was eliminated in the top 16 round.
Todrick’s time on the show was followed by millions of people around the world, becoming so popular that MTV produced an eponymous reality show in 2015 that reflected his work in the entertainment industry and showed his desire to become a role model for all queer people of color.
Taking advantage of the media boom, Hall began to share his musical creations and his reflections with the rest of the community through his Youtube channel managing to gain popularity on the social network, build community and become a celebrity in record time.
In 2016, his talent caught RuPaul’s attention and, after several shablams and dream choreos, he landed a spot on the Drag Race All Stars jury alongside Michelle Visage, Ross Mathews and Carson Kressley. More recently, in 2021, he surprised the world behind a bull mask in The Masked Singer (US).
Shablam (or “dead drop”) is a type of dance move in which a person falls dramatically backwards in a beaten pose on the floor. Widely used in voguing and in queer and drag culture.
Yet none of these milestones are what make Todrick Hall a queer icon today. Here are five curiosities of this artist that you probably did not know:
He started right on Broadway
In 2008 he took part in the musical The Color Purple, based on the book by Marsha Norman, where he shared the spotlight with Oprah Winfrey. His partner Fantasia, one of the great R&B divas and winner of the third season of American Idol, encouraged him to audition for the reality show that helped Todrick make his leap to fame.
Did you know that another of this year’s Diversity artists (H.E.R.) has been cast in the Broadway musical adaptation of The Color Purple? Warner Bros will be bringing this adaptation to the big screen. In it, H.E.R. plays a waitress who aspires to be a singer.
He has later returned to the Broadway stage in Memphis (2010), Kinky Boots (2016), Chicago (2017) y Waitress (2019).
He has a Christmas album in the purest style of Mariah Carey
In December 2013, he released Dear Santa, a Christmas album featuring his original tracks So Cold and SplitsOnXmasTrees, plus covers of other popular Christmas carols performed by various artists.
And two years ago, to keep the Christmas spirit going even in the worst of times, he covered his hit Nails, Hair, Hips, Heels, turning it into this wonder called Bells, Bows, Gifts, Trees:
It’s not drag, it’s queer
Despite the aesthetics of most of his videos and the ease he shows when directing Drag Race queens, Todrick Hall does not consider himself a drag queen. He admires the style and enjoys being involved in the community, but, as he himself has stated on several occasions, he doesn’t spend the same time or dedication as a drag performer to be compared to one.
Beyoncé reached him for the choreography of Blow
In addition to all the ‘maxi challenges’ that Hall has choreographed for Drag Race, he has directed and collaborated on several music videos. Among them, the disco hit from the self-titled album by Queen B, released in 2013.
Beyoncé was looking for sensual movements and a colorful setting for this video clip. Who better than Todrick Hall to give a hand on this matter?
Todrick Hall will perform at Diversity València Festival next Saturday July 23rd.
Buy your ticket HERE and enjoy his 360º show
During the red-carpet premiere in Los Angeles for Justin Bieber’s new flick –of whom he declares himself an absolute fan–, Hall said:
It was just an amazing experience. She was awesome to work with and it was the hardest secret in my life to keep. I wasn’t surprised because I knew it was happening, but I didn’t know when.
Made the Forbes list in 2014
Forbes, the world’s most important ranking magazine named him one of the best performers “under 30” in the Hollywood category.
Get your full ticket HERE
Bearing in mind that he had already performed in many Broadway shows, released several singles, and triumphed and showcased his talent worldwide, how could he not be on this Forbes list?
If you didn’t know Todrick Hall or you hadn’t explored his talent for singing yet, we recommend you catch up with it, because in a few months he will give his first concert in Spain at Diversity Valencia.
Immerse yourself in the venue where the Diversity València Festival will take place from our VIRTUAL ENVIRONMENT
*Afroféminas is a Spanish-language Afrofeminist and anti-racist media outlet.