The Australian singer, born Jessica Anne Newham, first grabbed widespread attention at the age of 21 with her independently-released debut single “Somebody Loves You.” Originally just a free download, the song went viral in such a big way that it not only topped the US Dance charts but led to a major label deal for her first LP, Take Me When You Go. Since then, it’s been the soundtrack for an incredible viral video of a marriage proposal in which a man proposed to his boyfriend in the aisles of a Salt Lake City Home Depot. Watch it below, and have tissues handy because there will be tears.
In the wake of the viral marriage proposal video, “Somebody Loves You” has become a go-to soundtrack for gay weddings, and Betty Who has embraced this, telling NewNowNext last year that “I don’t think I’d have a career if it weren’t for the LGBTQ community.” In recent years, she’s lent her fundraising support to the Trevor Project and GLAAD, and made space for the LGBTQ community in her work. The video for her 2018 single, “Taste,” features her engaging in drag and taking a playful approach toward subversion of gender roles.
While Betty Who may be best known in the mainstream for “I Love You Always Forever,” her massively popular 2016 cover of the classic 90s ballad by Donna Lewis, she herself feels most at home around the LGBTQ community, telling NewNowNext that “it’s a space where I can be myself, share my stories, vulnerabilities, and they can share theirs with me.”
Speaking to NPR earlier this year, she described her purpose as a musician by saying “I wanna provide a space that people feel joy in, people feel safe enough, also, to cry in, and to be themselves in.” Sentiments like these make Betty Who an excellent choice to headline a festival that’s all about being who you really are and showing Pride in yourself.
See Betty Who at VA PrideFest on Saturday, September 28 at Brown’s Island, and keep an eye on VA Pride’s social media channels to learn more details on this year’s lineup of performers.
Top Photo via Betty Who/Facebook