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Blue Rojo Is A Musical Volcano Of Queer Desire

By Lucas Villa

Blue Rojo is leaving a colorful mark on Latin pop music. As the Mexican-American singer continues to take the genre to new places by fusing seemingly disparate elements of electronic and punk with reggaeton, he also lyrically pushes boundaries as an openly gay musician. Seeking to find himself after a few years of fleeting fame, Blue’s authenticity as an artist led him to sign with Universal Music Group last year. After releasing an album about being in love with a straight man, he continues to stay true to himself with his latest single “Soy Tu Payaso Papi 3000.”

“It’s a dream to sing about gay love,” Blue tells MTV over Zoom from his home in Mexico City. “It’s so hot. It’s super passionate. It makes me feel alive. It’s what I am. I’m singing about what I am.”

Before becoming one of Mexico’s freshest new voices, Blue Rojo was born Santiago Ogarrio in San Diego, California. As a child, he grew up in the border town of Tijuana, where he was able to embrace the pop culture of both the United States. and Mexico. Blue cites MTV’s TRL as the foundation of his musical influences. “I was super inspired by MTV, the whole top 10 countdown,” he recalls with a smile. “I watched it all the time.” Among his favorite artists were Britney Spears, Evanescence, Avril Lavigne, and Korn. On the Latin side, he was listening to the campy group Kabah, Spanish pop star Belinda, and electro-pop trio Belanova. “I love all the pop glam of what a pop artist is,” he says. “It’s beautiful and it’s plastic-y, and I like it.”

Blue moved to Mexico City with his family at age 11, and he later found his first opportunity to make his dreams of becoming a musician come true. After The Voice became a ratings juggernaut in 2011, international franchises sprang up around the world, including in Mexico. In 2013, he tried out for La Voz. For his first unaired audition, he says the producers forced him to sing Juanes’s “Me Enamora,” which resulted in zero celebrity coaches selecting him for their team. When Blue was invited back to audition again three days later, he told them, “Sure, but I’m going to pick my song.” His acoustic version of Don Omar’s reggaeton classic “Salio El Sol” won over Puerto Rican duo Wisin y Yandel.

Despite making it far in the competition and enjoying the experience, Blue says he couldn’t really be who he was while appearing on television. “I was already out with my family but I was still kind of scared of saying it on the show,” he adds. Blue also found that his initial fame, boosted by La Voz, had to do more with being a recognizable face on TV than with his actual talent. He left Mexico City for Guadalajara after a friend invited him out there. “I got kind of depressed,” Blue admits. “It was like a shock for who I am. I started doing an introspection with myself to start to know who I actually am and what I want to say. That’s where I started my artistic creation of Blue Rojo.”

With a fresh perspective from spending a year in Guadalajara, he returned to Mexico City to make Blue Rojo a reality. “I’m this misunderstood, super mystical gay boy in my fantasy,” he says about the concept behind his moniker. (The Spanglish name reflects his bicultural influences from Mexico and the U.S.) In 2019, Blue started independently releasing music that delved into queer identity through euphoric electro-pop tracks like “Niñaboy” and “Bebé.” The reggaeton-infused “Soy Tu Payaso Papi” was his most emblematic video as he turned into a clown over his crush on a straight man. “I want to be free with this project,” Blue says. “I love homosexuality. I think it’s a beautiful thing. In every sense, I think everyone has to love who they are. I love that and I want to preserve that for myself because life is short.”

Adrián Fierro

“Soy Tu Payaso Papi” caught the attention of Mexico City-based A&R Diego Urdaneta, who assembled a team of musicians like Venezuela’s Ulises Hadjis and the Dominican Republic’s Diego Raposo to work with Blue on his debut album, Solitario. Across the 12 tracks, Blue further delves into the pain and rejection of his unrequited queer crush on this straight guy. Urdaneta shopped the album around with different labels before Universal signed Blue. “You have to trust your instinct as much as you can,” Blue says about making the album. “You have to believe in yourself. You gotta risk it also. I felt really good that they liked the album. That was a dream.”

In November 2021, Universal released Blue’s Solitario just as the label execs heard it before they signed him. His operatic voice soars across every genre that he’s blended into the LP. On “Después de la Pandemia Volví a Ser Católiko,” Blue reconciles his religious upbringing with a magnetic crush. Through the surging electronica, he cries out to God, Jesus, and the Virgin Mary for guidance. In the swaggering reggaeton standout “Eslabón de Bonbón,” Blue is feeling himself as a “puto,” his reclamation of the Spanish-language queer slur. “I like the word and I always want to use it,” Blue says. “I felt like I was on fire when I was singing that song, like a volcano.”

Earlier this year, Blue lived out one of his high school fantasies through his music video for “No Te Kiero Olvidar.” On the soccer field, he sings the synthpop anthem with eyes for the team captain. After the two get cozy, they share a kiss on screen. “It was very cathartic,” Blue says. “It was also a process of healing. In school, I was very shy and kept to myself. I was very depressed, so doing this makes me let it go. Now I know I put it out there. I expressed what I felt.”

In addition to releasing a revamped “Soy Tu Payaso Papi 3000” this month, Blue previewed his next single “La Foto x Whatsapp,” due out in July. In the dembow-driven dance track, he sings about discovering through Whatsapp that the guy he’s seeing has a girlfriend. “This song is more fun,” Blue says. “I like the pop drama.” Toward the end, a sample of Belanova’s “Por Ti” emerges. “I was one of those kids listening to Belanova, and now having them on my song, it’s super beautiful,” he adds. In the forthcoming futuristic music video, Blue rides around the city holding onto a motorcyclist. A reference to Rosalía’s Motomami, perhaps? He says with a laugh, “Super Motopapi vibes.”

Along with Rosalía, Blue would love to collaborate with artists like Frank Ocean, Charli XCX, Grimes, Bad Bunny, Karol G, Björk, and, of course, Britney. With plans for more singles to come this year, he’s already hard at work on his second album. “I love being Blue Rojo from now at this point in my life,” he says. “I want to make a bit of a controversial album with a pop concept. I want to be an artist that has a voice. I want to keep talking about concepts that are very personal but that also matter in society.”

Gabrielle Union Wore a Crochet Bra Top With a Low-Rise Micro-Miniskirt

When in Milan, do as the Milanese do: Wear head-to-toe Prada. 

Gabrielle Union, actor and apparent rule-follower, stepped out in Milan on Sunday, June 19, wearing a white crochet bra top and a belted khaki micro-miniskirt. She paired the two-piece Prada ensemble with a black silk jacket, also Prada, draped over her shoulders and patent black close-toe heels. 

She finished off the look with a mini patterned satchel.

Robino Salvatore

But let’s not forget the star of the show—her sleek wrapped ponytail, which hit just below her waist. 

Robino Salvatore

For glam, she opted for a summery look, keeping her makeup bright and dewy with a peach flush and glossy lip. 

Union and her fashion savvy husband, Dwyane Wade, naturally attended Prada’s spring/summer 2023 menswear show while in the city over the weekend, meaning that we, the public, were treated to a total of three different Prada looks. 

Beyoncé Dropped the Song of the Summer While You Were Sleeping

There’s a brand new Beyoncé song, just in time for the summer solstice. 

Early Tuesday morning, Beyoncé quietly dropped her new single, “Break My Soul,” a dance-y, upbeat song which uses a sample of Robin S’s “Show Me Love.”  The single also features Big Freedia on vocals. 

Listen to the song here: 

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Album artwork for the single on streaming platforms shows the number “6” alongside the title, perhaps a hint that “Break My Soul” is the sixth track on the forthcoming album Renaissance, which Beyoncé announced last week will drop on July 29. 

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Beyoncé also shared an image to Instagram announcing the single, in which the singer wears black opera gloves and is partially obscured behind what looks like textured glass.

The Best Fetish Websites, Whether You’re Just Looking or in Deep

FetLife

Fetlife is the internet’s town square for kinks and fetishes, a super popular social network that’s often compared to Facebook, though with a fairly obvious twist. It’s not a dating site—it’s designed more broadly to form communities in a culture that maintains stigma around kinky sex, including facilitating meeting up for sexual purposes. FetLife also has a porn component—some free, some that you’ll have to pay for. 

Fetish.com

“Strap yourself in,” the cheeky copy on Fetish.com greets new readers. The website bills itself as a “kink-positive bdsm community for fetish dating.” There is a dating app component but the site also stands out as educational and community-driven, featuring blog-y explainers, as well as Reddit-style discussion forums on popular fetishes. A recent search of the latter showed an ongoing conversation about how to successfully incorporate hair-pulling in sex, another about how to use a strap on. Several conversations involved kink-themed meetups in various cities, and one, which garnered 100 replies, was titled simply, “So be honest what am I doing wrong?”

R/Fetish

The old-ish dictum “there’s a Reddit for that” rings especially true when it comes to sexual fetishes. Start with this masterlist of sub (ha) Reddits, which gets as specific as “r/womenincapes” “r/scatporn,” and “r/smalldicks.” At press time, there were exactly 69 comments on the first pinned conversation in the “Ageplay and Diaper Fetish” subreddit. Sometimes, life is beautiful!

Feeld

Feeld is a dating app that bills itself as “a positive space for humans looking to explore dating beyond the norm.” To that end, Feeld allows daters to create profiles and chat as individuals, couples, or more complex poly-assortments, and encourages cheerful sexual specificity, including around kinks. Sexual orientations and gender are also not limited to just a few options the way they are on most apps. While platforms like Fetlife tend to a pornier, classic sex-shop vibe, Feeld is courting millennials hard with a clean, friendly aesthetic. The ethos of the app emphasizes communication, openness, and consent, as all dating and hookup apps should.

Human Sex Map

Be not afraid, curious adventurers, of the sinister-sounding phrase “HumanSexMap.com.” The interactive sex map, created by sex writer Franklin Veaux, is a friendly thing, the kind you might hang on the wall in a sex-positive home. The site is a simply drawn but intricately labeled map of kinks and fetishes. Navigate from “Islands of the Imaginary” (vampire erotica, tentacle sex, ghosts) to the mountains that have group sex to their south and graveyards to their north. Using different colored digital pins you can mark fetishes by “Tried and liked,” “Tried, didn’t like,” “Want to try,” and “Strictly fantasy only,” and save your map for the future.

#Open

Like Feeld, #Open is a dating app attempting to stake a claim for poly and kinky people in a world of “hahahaha I love tacos!”-style vanilla dating apps. “Polyamorous, ethically non-monogamous, or open? Check. Kinky? Check. LGBTQIA+? Check! You’ll find others who accept and respect your identities and desires,” #Open promises. If you’ve never heard of the app, that might be because last year Google scrubbed it from the App Store, particularly because it contained the keywords “kinky dates,” as well as words like “threesomes.” It’s a sad example of kink being needlessly stigmatized in the mainstream.

Nick Jonas and Daughter Malti Marie Wore the Cutest Matching Sneakers on Father’s Day

Happy belated Father’s Day to first-time dad, Nick Jonas!

Five months after Priyanka Chopra and Jonas welcomed their first child via surrogacy, the singer marked his first Father’s Day by sharing a photo of him and daughter Malti Marie Chopra Jonas sporting matching white Vans printed with her first initials. While each of Malti’s heels was marked with an “M,” Jonas’ own shoes read “MM’s Dad.” 

“First Father’s Day with my little girl. Thank you @priyankachopra for the incredible Father Daughter sneakers and for making me a daddy I love you so much,” he wrote in the caption of the Instagram post. “Happy Father’s Day to all the dads and caretakers out there. ❤️”

Chopra shared the same image on her own feed, writing, “Happy 1st Father’s Day my love. To watch you with our little girl is my greatest joy..what an amazing day to come back home… I love you. Here’s to many more. ❤️”

On May 8, the couple shared their first photo of Malti Marie and revealed that she spent her first 100 days in the ICU. “On this Mother’s Day, we can’t help but reflect on these last few months and the rollercoaster we’ve been on, which we now know, so many people have also experienced,” Jonas wrote at the time. “After 100 plus days in the NICU, our little girl is finally home. Every family’s journey is unique and requires a certain level of faith, and while ours was a challenging few months, what becomes abundantly clear, in retrospect, is how precious and perfect every moment is.”

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After thanking the doctors, nurses, and staff at Rady Children’s La Jolla and Cedar Sinai, Los Angeles, he addressed his wife, writing, “Babe, you inspire me and every way, and you are taking to this new role with such ease and steadiness. I am so grateful to be on this journey with you. You are already an incredible mother. Happy Mother’s Day. I love you.”

Justin Timberlake and Jessica Biel Just Shared Rare Pics of Their Sons, Silas and Phineas

Jessica Biel celebrated Father’s Day by sharing a rare family photo.

Jessica Biel, who have been married to Justin Timberlake since 2012, welcomed her first son, Silas, in April 2015. In July 2020, The Daily Mail reported that she had given birth to a second child, but neither the singer nor actor confirmed the news until six months later when Timberlake opened up about their second son, Phineas, on The Ellen DeGeneres Show. “He’s awesome and so cute. Nobody’s sleeping,” he said at the time. “But we’re thrilled. We’re thrilled and couldn’t be happier, very grateful.”

Now, nearly two years after becoming parents of two, Biel took to Instagram to praise her husband and share a rare pic of the whole Biel-Timberlake gang. “To the world, you are a dad. But to your family, you are the world. I don’t know who said that, but whomever it was, they bodied that shit,” she captioned the pic on June 19. We love you baby. Thank you for being our everything!”

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Like many celebrity parents, there’s a reason Biel and Timberlake try to keep posts about their sons to a minimum. “I try to be conscious of making sure we can live a life where we’re not weirdly private, but we’re conscious of making sure they can be kids for as long as possible,” Timberlake said during an appearance on Dax Shepard’s podcast Armchair Expert in January 2021, per CNN.

However, on June 19, Justin Timberlake also shared a photo of Silas and Phineas, writing, “My two favorite melodies. ❤️❤️ Happy Father’s Day to all the Dad’s out there!!!”

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Gigi Hadid Shares Rare Photo of Ex Zayn Malik and Their Daughter Khai on Father’s Day

Gigi Hadid celebrated two important dads in her life this Father’s Day.

On June 19, the model posted two Father’s Day tributes on her Instagram Stories. In the first post, Hadid shared a photo with her dad, Mohamed Hadid, with the message, “Happy Father’s Day to my sweet baba. I love you!’

The second Insta Story, however, was dedicated to “Khai’s baba.” Hadid shared a photo of her ex, Zayn Malik, and their 21-month-old daughter, Khai, enjoying some father-daughter coloring time. Hadid and Malik dated on and off for about five years, splitting just over a year after welcoming their daughter on September 23, 2020. Malik has been largely absent from Hadid’s social media posts following an incident between Malik and Hadid’s mother, Yolanda Hadid, that reportedly led to their split in October 2021.  

Instagram/@gigihadid

Gigi Hadid and Zayn Malik have opted to keep their daughter’s face off social media to preserve her privacy, and have asked the paparazzi to respect those wishes. “We have never intentionally shared our daughters [sic] face on social media,” Hadid wrote in an Instagram Story back in July 2021. “Our wish is that she can choose how to share herself with the world when she comes of age, and that she can live as normal of a childhood as possible, without worrying about a public image that she has not chosen.”

She continued, “It would mean the world to us, as we take our daughter to see and explore NYC, and the world, if you would PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE blur her face out of the images, and if and when she is caught on camera, I know it’s an extra effort, but as a new mom, I just want the best for my baby, as all parents do… and I hope this can continue the conversation to protect minors in the media, even if they come from a public family.”


Jennifer Lopez Thanks Ben Affleck for Being a ‘Selfless’ Father to Her Kids ‘Without Obligation’

Jennifer Lopez just got sappy on main about Ben Affleck.

In honor of Father’s Day, Lopez paid tribute to her fiancé in not one, but two heartfelt posts. To start, Lopez (or whoever she hires to edit her Instagram videos) put together a slide show of photos and videos with Affleck set to the audio from a previous interview about their rekindled romance. “This is the best time of my life that I’ve loved my career but nothing is more fulfilling to me than being able to build a family with someone who I love deeply and who is just as dedicated to family and to each other as we can be and I’m just, I feel incredibly blessed,” Lopez says over the sweet slideshow, which can be watched here

The Instagram post itself was captioned, “Happy Father’s Day to the most caring, loving, affectionate, consistent, and selfless Daddy ever.” Affleck shares three children from his previous marriage with actor Jennifer Garner, while Lopez shares 14-year-old twins Max and Emme with her ex-husband Marc Anthony.

Meanwhile, subscribers to her On the JLo newsletter were treated to an adorably candid video of Affleck teaming up with Emme to convince the Halftime star to purchase a Devon Rex cat. Spoiler alert: they were successful (You can watch the video here). 

On the JLo

“I’ve been thinking a lot lately about what it is to be a father and I think it’s really about being there and caring, effort and time but more importantly, love and example,” Jennifer Lopez wrote in her newsletter. “As I have grown and become a parent myself and learned more about myself and others, I see the importance and profundity of a great father in one’s life and how the absence of it can cause deep lifelong wounds…”

Jennifer Lopez shared a sweet dedication to her own father before addressing her fiancé. “I have had a [front-row] seat to watching how you father for over a year now and I have never seen [a] more consistent, loving, and selfless father. And it’s not just to your own kids but also without obligation to mine as well,” she wrote of Affleck. “You show up and put them first always. You are affectionate and engaged in every moment they are with you and it’s honestly one of the most beautiful things I have ever seen. Thank you for all you do for all of us. We appreciate and love you beyond measure.”


How LGBTQ+ Artists Made TikTok A Space For Sharing Their Stories

In honor of Pride Month, MTV News set out to spotlight the LGBTQ+ artists creating the contemporary anthems that soundtrack queer spaces and report on the new frontiers in today’s streaming landscape helping them to do so. As we did last year, we’ve also set out to profile emerging LGBTQ+ artists and celebrate established ones making waves. Welcome to Queer Music Week.

By Max Freedman

Once upon a time, the Oakland ukulele-pop musician Mxmtoon thought TikTok was an app for, as she tells MTV News, “8-year-olds who play Fortnite.” That changed when her 2019 single “Prom Dress” went viral on the now-ubiquitous social media platform. There, the song has racked up 447,600 streams to date, and Mxmtoon’s TikTok channel has 2.8 million followers and 131.9 million likes. Now, the 21-year-old artist is one of many LGBTQ+ musicians using the app to make their music and full selves heard while connecting more closely with their audiences, especially their LGBTQ+ fans.

In conversations with MTV News, Mxmtoon (who also goes by Maia but keeps her last name out of the public for her privacy) and other LGBTQ+ musicians say they’ve used TikTok to get their music to queer listeners more quickly and directly than many traditional promotional routes like radio airplay. The online communities they’ve built through the app have translated to sold-out live shows and major label deals, though some have used their TikTok presences to maintain a level of creative autonomy unprecedented for newly signed artists. Even as the app has admitted to shadowbanning words such as “gay,” “lesbian,” and “transgender,” as well as generally pro-LGBTQ+ content, TikTok has nonetheless become a space of connection and authenticity for LGBTQ+ musicians and listeners alike.

It’s easy to think of TikTok as a COVID-era phenomenon. Surely, during early lockdown, you fell down a dance-challenge TikTok rabbit hole or watched way too many clips that use the same song. Yet as Mxmtoon recalls, TikTok was already a big deal pre-pandemic. She says that before she released “Prom Dress” in May 2019, she and her team “went into that campaign and that release with the intention of making a lot of content on TikTok so…people could interact with it for a while before we [released] the actual full-length song.” At the time, TikTok had roughly 271 million monthly active users, a mere fraction of the 1 billion monthly active users it reached in September.

Throughout our conversation, Mxmtoon speaks about TikTok both with an executive-sharp marketing eye — she says “engage” and “consuming content” at least once — and continued incredulity about how uniquely the platform can help musicians. “There was a really big moment [for] ‘Prom Dress’ on TikTok before we even filmed the music video,” she says. “It was really interesting to see how massively it took off.”

As her audience has grown, Mxmtoon has found a space to more fully be herself. “TikTok has played a huge part in me expressing my identity as a queer person,” she says. The near-instantaneous conversations the platform facilitates through its video replies to comments make it “very easy to have a conversation about your identity. It’s very easy for me to make a video about being bisexual and reach an audience of people that also understand that experience and want to consume content representative of their identities.” She regularly responds to comments asking about her sexuality. “If I’m open and honest about my queerness,” she says, “it allows other people to be open and honest about theirs, as well.”

TikTok is how the British folk-pop musician Cat Burns — who has 1.2 million TikTok followers alongside roughly 539,000 TikTok streams on the four versions of her folk-pop song “Go” — figured out her sexuality. Since TikTok “creates an algorithm for you,” the 22-year-old tells MTV News, “it knew that I was not definitive in who I thought I was and would show me particular videos and…would then continually show me those same videos, and then I would continuously like them, and then it got me thinking, ‘Oh, am I not straight?’”

Now, she’s writing music made explicitly for fellow LGBTQ+ people and Black women — and reaching listeners via social media. “I want people to feel heard and represented in the music that I make,” she says. “I want to make people feel seen.” She pulled off both when she released her song “Free” in 2021, about a year after she first gained a large TikTok following during early lockdown by regularly doing singing challenges and covering songs. “Free,” which she released after signing to a major label, “immediately hit the target group that it needed to hit, and it touched the people that it needed to touch. I don’t think I would be able to hit the [number] of people that I’ve hit without TikTok.”

Through the platform, both Burns and Mxmtoon have built an audience of LGBTQ+ listeners and used the platform to share their stories with fans. Or, more accurately, further share their stories. If music is storytelling, then on TikTok, LGBTQ+ musicians are revealing their narratives to new people and building even deeper connections with longtime listeners.

The Missouri-raised glam-pop musician Jake Wesley Rogers — whom some have called “Gen Z’s Elton John” — says that the connections TikTok builds have resulted in an unprecedented transfer of power from labels to musicians. Although the 25-year-old singer-songwriter published five music videos in 2021, he tells MTV News, “This year, my budgets got cut for music videos, and the explanation was, ‘You’re making TikToks for free, and they’re doing much more to build your audience than these very expensive music videos.’ Which is fair!”

Rogers says that musicians “don’t really need the infrastructure, the money, and the push behind a label to get out there. If you get a following, you get a following, and you have power. You own everything.” In a major-label ecosystem where musicians — including LGBTQ+ songwriter Justin Tranter, who heads Rogers’s label, Facet — still speak of an overall lacking queer presence in the industry, the power that TikTok can give marginalized musicians to take and maintain control of their stories when formally entering the industry is nothing short of game-changing.

For Rogers, this power has primarily come in handy after, not before, signing to a label. Facet had already offered him a deal before he joined TikTok right as the pandemic began. His following on the platform has since grown to just under 300,000, with a few million-plus-views videos on his page, plus the “Abraham Lincoln was a queer icon” video that first took him viral in May 2020. He hasn’t needed a TikTok megahit like Burns’s “Go” or Mxmtoon’s “Prom Dress” to build a devoted following on and beyond the app.

“TikTok was this way to share my music and find new people that, maybe traditionally, you would get from touring,” he says. But once touring restarted, he “saw it translate immediately. I played my first headline shows last year, and I think the reason they sold out was because of TikTok.” His listeners, he affirms, are “coming to the shows and believing in what I believe in.”

Those beliefs include that “authenticity, love, and consciousness are part of us…and the world is really fucked up and there’s so much beauty in it.” Also: “We contain multitudes, and I think…TikTok rewards that. It rewards a holistic person. … I’m an artist first, but I’m a lot of things, and I can show all those things.” Rogers says that the multiplicity and contradictions that TikTok encourages are why the platform is home to a thriving community of LGBTQ+ musicians and listeners. “I think queerness is that,” he says. “Queerness is existing in that blurry state of nonconformity.”

Thanks to TikTok, major labels are less hesitant than ever to embrace and uplift their artists’ creativity and identities, and LGBTQ+ musicians and listeners are finding each other more easily than ever. The app is allowing LGBTQ+ musicians to directly put forth their full selves to like-minded audiences. There, artists’ personalities are on display alongside their music, and no traditional music marketing approach can so deftly pull off that feat. “It was so much fun for me…to express facets of [myself] on the platform other than just my songs,” Mxmtoon says of her early days on the platform. Since then, she says, TikTok has “been this great tool to not only promote my music and share my songs, but also promote who I am.”

Of course, TikTok comes with its challenges for musicians, even beyond the potential for censorship. The app has enforced bans in several languages on certain LGBTQ+-related words. It has also shadowbanned queer TikTok content in countries with no recent history of anti-LGBTQ+ legislation. For now, these bans haven’t affected LGBTQ+ artists all that significantly, though Mxmtoon notes that TikTok’s “history of not necessarily advocating for all people and shutting down certain voices and stories” means “they still have a ways to go.”

Mxmtoon also mentions that TikTok has made music “hard to think about from my business brain — how do I make a snippet of my song take off on TikTok? And from the creative side of it, I’m like, ‘I don’t want [snippets] to define why I make this song and the way that I write.’” Burns says that successfully using TikTok to spread your music requires keeping up with trends, which adds another task to a list stacked with writing, recording, touring, doing interviews, and just living your life. “As long as you move with the times of TikTok, it definitely works in your favor,” she says, “but if you stick doing the same content, it never [goes anywhere].”

Rogers points to another challenge with using TikTok to promote his music. “If I get too caught up in likes and comments and virality, then I’ll stop making music accidentally,” he says. But he adds that TikTok continues to be worth it: “The people who have found [me] and continue to find [me] are investing, more than just following me.” They’re showing up to his shows, which means they’re actually funding his music career. And for Mxmtoon, a continued TikTok presence eliminates the longstanding “divide between artist and audience.” The platform excels at building genuine bonds between LGBTQ+ musicians and the people who would naturally be most interested in their music: LGBTQ+ listeners. Burns says that she’s “seen so many people” of all sexualities “playing [‘Go’] and using it in their videos.” After all, she adds, “That’s just what music does. It connects people.”

Jennifer Lopez Gets Emotional Performing With ‘My Baby,’ 14-Year-Old Emme

Jennifer Lopez recently performed with her “favorite duet partner of all time.”

In case you forgot, Lopez shares 14-year-old twins Max and Emme with her ex-husband Marc Anthony—and it looks like one of her kids is ready to fill both parents’ musical shoes. Two years after Emme made a cameo appearance during Lopez’s iconic Super Bowl  2020 halftime show performance, they joined their mom for a surprise duet at the Los Angeles Dodgers Foundation Blue Diamond Gala on June 16. 

“The last time we performed together was in a big stadium like this and I ask them to sing with me all the time, and they won’t. So this is a very special occasion,” Jennifer Lopez told the Dodgers Stadium crowd in a now-viral video on TikTok. “They are very, very busy. Booked. And pricey. They cost me when they come out. But they’re worth every single penny because they’re my favorite duet partner of all time. So if you will indulge me.”

From there, the pair blew the crowd away with their emotional rendition of Christina Perri’s “A Thousand Years.” Emme sang into a rhinestone rainbow mic, wearing a hot pink shirt and shorts combo with a black baseball cap and boots. Lopez held a rhinestone mic of her own, wearing a silky feathered blue bra, pants, and robe set. “Give it up for my baby,” she said at the end of the performance. 

You can watch clips of their duet, here:

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During the concert, Emme also performed a portion of their mother’s 1999 hit, “Let’s Get Loud.”

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