There are so many supposed gay icons out there that it can seem like every musician with a flamboyant style and a disco tune uses the title.
But when KT Tunstall burst onto the music scene with her first album Eye To The Telescope, the lesbian community was instantly drawn to her strength, guts and musicality.
With that popularity came tabloid speculation about her sexuality – especially after she donned a pair of rainbow braces on her album cover. Tunstall is straight, but very proud the GBLT community relates to music.
“My lyrics are kind of cross-gendered,” she told Sydney Star Observer.
Her hit single Suddenly I See was interpreted by the queer community as a song about coming out to oneself. It was a massive hit, helped by its use in the TV show Ugly Betty and the film The Devil Wears Prada.
“It was actually about Patti Smith, but it can be taken as a love song,” Tunstall said.
“Also Heal Over, which is a platonic love song, can be taken in different ways.”
Tunstall said she thought the lesbian community was drawn to her not because of her music, but because of her morals.
“I don’t get my ass and tits out all the time,” she said.
“Then people automatically think I am gay because they think I have an attitude problem. “
The Grammy nominee and BRIT Award winner is coming to Australia for the East Coast Blues and Roots festival in March, as well as a gig at the Enmore Theatre.
“If anyone is going to ask me to get the best example of what I’m about when it comes to music, I would say throw away the CD and come and see the gig. – I’ve been playing in gigs for years,” Tunstall said.
“Byron Bay is going to be heaven. I’ve got this great band and I’ve been playing with them from the beginning and hopefully there’ll be seven of us.
“The Enmore gig is going to be different from an outdoor festival. I’m not going to play many down tempo songs in Byron as people are there to party. At a gig you can be more dynamic and have more control over what everything sounds like. It will be quite different but I’ll be playing a similar selection of songs.
“I just want to say thank you so much to the community for all your support and its wicked that there’s a loyal following.”
The East Coast Blues and Roots Festival starts on Thursday 20 March and bookings on 6685 8310 or www.bluesfest.com.au. The Enmore Show is on Wednesday 19 March and bookings are at www.ticketek.com.