Lori Michaels has been a popular fixture at gay and lesbian pride events for many years, has had numerous hit songs, is praised and honored for her charitable endeavors, and is considered to be one of the most exciting openly gay performers on the scene. Recently, however, Michaels has been getting a ton of attention for a song that hasn’t even been released yet…a song with a pretty controversial co-singer. When word came out that Danielle Staub from The Real Housewives of New Jersey was stepping into the recording studio it came as a shock to many in the lesbian community to learn that it was one of our own opening the door for her to do so. What do you get when you mix the musical talents of the “Dyke Diva” with the reputation and attitude of the most infamous housewife in all of New Jersey?
We recently talked to Lori to try and find out..
Cherry Grrl (CG): Last week the news broke that you will be recording a duet with Danielle Staub from The Real Housewives of New Jersey. Is this true and how did this project come about?
Lori Michaels (LM): Actually, I started working with Danielle’s daughter (Jillian Marie) on Jillian’s music project for her soon-to-be-released single “What You’re Talking About.” Danielle heard my music and really wanted to perform/record my song “Real Close” with me.
CG: What is “Real Close” about?
LM: The song is about commitment…and the issues that lie within…being scared to be “real close.”
CG: How and when did you and Danielle meet?
LM: We met backstage at The Nokia Theatre in NYC after I had performed there in the summer of 2009. I had no idea who she was because I had never seen The Real Housewives of NJ, but Sasha A. Mess (who is featured on my song “Meet Me At The Partay”) was so excited to meet her and I was really happy that he made me go up to her to introduce the both of us to her.
CG: She is clearly depicted as the villain on her show. Since you know her personally now, do you think this treatment is fair? Have you seen another side to her?
LM: Believe it or not I still have never even seen season one, I missed an episode of season 2, I have yet to have time to read her new book (The Naked Truth), and I know she has her own website/merchandise line with great sayings (I have already worn out my Danielle’s Mafia tank top). But, from what I have seen and heard, she sure does play a great villain, huh? I WILL say that I’ve spent time with her and her family…and I have seen many sides to her – including the soft/sweet side of this “most controversial housewife.”
CG: Were you at all concerned that associating yourself and your music with her might be damaging to your image and your career – since she does have some pretty harsh critics out there? (continued on next page)