Out musician Mary Lambert is currently flying high. After being introduced to the world on Macklemore and Ryan Lewis’s gay rights anthem Same Love, Lambert went on to perform alongside them at the Grammy Award Show, and released her full-length debut album, Heart on My Sleeve, last October.
In an recent interview with Rolling Stone, the singer discussed her remaking of Rick Springfield’s 1981 hit, Jessie’s Girl
“Originally, I had put a piece about rape on the record, called ‘Epidemic. My project manager was like, ‘We support you 100 percent, but you should know Target and Starbucks won’t carry it, and it’ll have a warning on it,’ so I was like, damn, that’s true.
I remember when I heard ‘Jessie’s Girl’ for the first time, I was like, ‘This is so applicable to lesbians!’ So in two days I came up with a different chord progression, rearranged it, played the piano and sang it. Everyone in the room was crying and I was like, ‘Cool, job well done.’ It seemed to be the perfect replacement for ‘Epidemic’ – equally as important for me.”
When asked how she feels about “pushing the envelope” as a gay artist, Lambert said she’s “curious about what the next step is.”
“With the knowledge that your favorite artist is gay, you know that the context of which they’re singing is going to be inherently gay.
And I think what’s beautiful about that is that it doesn’t deter anyone from listening. That’s what I think is really important about gay artists being in the spotlight.
I understand the plight of an artist singing a song and not using gendered pronouns because it can alienate some of their audience, but I’ve found success with using a gendered pronoun – but that’s my story. I’m curious about what the next step is and how to be an asset.”