Magazine article The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine)

Forever Amber: Her Gay Fans May Dig Her Beats, Says Dance Music Queen Amber, but They Also Identify with Her Struggles. (Arts & Entertainment)

Magazine article The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine)

Forever Amber: Her Gay Fans May Dig Her Beats, Says Dance Music Queen Amber, but They Also Identify with Her Struggles. (Arts & Entertainment)

Article excerpt

Amber loves to be surrounded by her "boys," standing center stage in a crowded gay club. Sometimes, there is no more safer or emotionally supportive a place in the world to be," she says. "It's like having a blanket of love wrapped around you."

And she insists that her affection is rooted far deeper than the standard hetero diva blowing superficial kisses to her gay disciples. "We share a kinship, a bond that comes from understanding and enduring the struggles of life," she notes, drawing a deep breath and glancing pensively out the window of her New Jersey home. "It's too easy to just say, `I love my gay fans, and they love it when I sing dance songs about sex.' There's a mutual response between us. It cuts deeper than music."

Yet music is the tie that binds the Dutch singer and the gay men who have continually snapped up her disco-laced odes to sex and love since her 1996 breakthrough, "This Is Your Night," and through a growing catalog of infectious rhythm-rooted nuggets that includes "One More Night" and "Sexual (Li Da Di)." As she puts the finishing touches on her third studio album, Naked (Tommy Boy), Amber strives to make music that continues to build a mainstream pop following while also serving the needs of her queer audience. "And they require more than the bump-da-bump crap than most people believe," she says, her grin building to a chuckle. "God help you if you come to the table with crap. They will let you know how tired you are. And ooh, child, that is not pretty. …

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