Singer, actor, and YouTube sensation Todrick Hall is returning to Australia with another huge show. He spoke to Jesse Jones about his roots, gay culture, and his surprising taste in music.

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Todrick Hall, star of YouTube and Broadway alike, is known for his hip-hop and neo-soul performances, but his own musical taste includes more country than his fans might guess.

“I just love country music so much,” he says.

He fires off a long list of country artists he admires, from Reba McEntire to Carrie Underwood.

“I’m from Texas, so everyone grows up listening to country music,” Hall says.

“I write a lot of songs that are inspired by it. Country music often paints a picture and tells a story in three or four minutes, and pop songs don’t usually do that.

“Being a musical theatre person, I love the storytelling aspect of the country music style.”

Hall is returning to Australia in June with his new tour, Forbidden, based on his visual album of the same name.

Coming highly anticipated after last year’s sold-out tour, the show promises to be a spectacular treat for fans, featuring new songs, choreography, and costumes.

“I like to refer to it as halfway between a Broadway musical and a concert,” Hall says.

“I’m very excited to be returning again this year.”

Never afraid to get political, Hall often includes social commentary in his music and shows.

He says that when the LGBTI community comes under attack—including by the Trump government at home in the US—we should be coming together to support each other.

“I think that a big issue we have is that there’s a lot of separation and hate and animosity within the gay community against other people,” he explains.

“There’s a lot of racism within the gay community; a lot of people saying that twinks don’t like bears and bears don’t like jocks, and whites don’t like Asians and blacks don’t like whites.

“I just think it’s important for us to be a community that has been created, and has had to fight so much to get the rights that we now have, and rights that we have deserved for a long time.”

Hall says he’s been thrilled to see the LGBTI community and gay culture become more visible and accepted over recent years.

“Behind every Cher, Mariah Carey, Beyoncé, or Britney Spears is a group of gay men who have done their hair, taught them how to dance, and created their wardrobe,” he says.

“In past decades, they would have been people behind the scenes that you would never know. Shows like RuPaul’s Drag Race have made it not only relevant but pop culture.

“That’s what I love about the society that we’re in today, the fact that we’re getting more and more recognition.”

Hall is “abundantly grateful” to his Australian fans for supporting his music and allowing him to visit us again.

“I come from a very poor family in Texas, and the fact that I even got to fly to Australia [last year] is such a huge blessing and something I would never in a million years have dreamed of,” he says.

“The fact that I got to perform to audiences who knew my lyrics in another country was really amazing and mind-boggling.

“I can’t say it enough—I’m so grateful.”

Todrick Hall’s Forbidden show is touring Adelaide, Sydney, Melbourne, and Brisbane in June. Tickets are available now from: www.tegdainty.com.

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