Jimmy Somerville interview: ‘I wanted people to love me’

Laura Martin writes:

If Jimmy Somerville had one of the most powerful pop voices of the 1980s, then his words carried even more of an impact. As frontman of synth-pop bands Bronski Beat and the Communards, Somerville’s soprano tones were unmistakable.

But almost more than his musical talent, it was his political zeal that made him stand out from the crowd. At a time when musicians such as Boy George and Freddie Mercury kept their sexuality ambiguous, Somerville was one of the first truly out-and-proud gay pop stars, addressing homophobia head-on in songs such as Bronski Beat’s “Smalltown Boy” while also nailing his socialist colours to the mast on such tracks as the Communards’ anti-Thatcher screed “Breadline Britain”. You’d be unlikely to hear chart acts today making a similar stand.

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