Mighty Real

Sylvester

Sylvester, the fiercest, disco diva this side of the Rainbow Flag!

Any study of disco music would not be complete without songs like You Make Me Feel (Mighty Real) or the familiar cowbell sound of the 1070s that is used in Do You Wanna Funk. Sylvester James was a drag performer in San Francisco. Although he rejected the title of drag queen, he was a gender-bending performer that defined androgyny. For marketing reasons, his music label attempted to “butch him up,” to which he responded by attending meetings in full drag. And that’s who Sylvester was — an unapologetic Black man in drag that could set a stage on fire with his falsetto voice.

by Joanne Bermudez

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