You gotta be mad, brave, or just supremely talented, to want to sing in front of 30,000 people at the Gay Games opening ceremony. Sydney-born lesbian soul goddess Shauna Jensen is two out of those three: brave and talented.

Jensen’s career trajectory has taken her from the backing microphones with artists as diverse as Jimmy Barnes, Rick Price and Yothu Yindi, through the television commercial production wringer, and into the solo spotlight.

I hate to say it, but my career has spanned over 30 years, she says. I’ve done large shows before, but nothing like the opening ceremony. This is a really unique experience.

That may be so, but Jensen is no stranger to gay and lesbian Sydney, and her duet with Adeva at last year’s Mardi Gras party (they performed Sisters Are Doin’ It For Themselves) was received with rapturous applause.

Jensen will be performing the Des’ree hit You Gotta Be as part of the opening ceremony, but will return for the final number of the final Games event, the farewell party.

It’s amazing to be doing the opening ceremony and the closing show of the whole thing. Fantastic! she says.

Her opening ceremony number should prove to be a sobering moment in the midst of the celebration.

It’s really a song about hope, she explains. It has the line, I know love will save the day, and right now, with the state of the world we’re living in, it seems extremely fitting.

It’s been really important for me to make the song my own, Jensen continues. I didn’t want to do a carbon copy of the Des’ree version. I’ve spent quite a long time making it my own and doing a vocal arrangement that’s my own. Everyone that’s heard it really loves it. It’s a beautiful song, that’s all I can say.

You can catch Shauna Jensen live at the Gay Games opening ceremony, Saturday 2 November, at Aussie Stadium

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