Billy Porter's New Album Inspired by Babs

The Kinky Boots star does Dreamgirls and duets with Cyndi Lauper on Billy's Back on Broadway.

BY Brandon Voss

March 06 2014 3:55 PM ET

A Tony Award winner for his performance as Lola, the drag heroine at the center of the Broadway musical Kinky Boots, Billy Porter slips on a snazzy new pair of shoes to release Billy's Back on Broadway, the Out100 honoree's first solo album in nearly a decade.

"Seeing Jennifer Holliday from Dreamgirls perform on the Tony Awards telecast and later discovering Barbra Streisand by listening to her albums at the Carnegie Library in Pittsburgh really changed everything for me," says Porter, a former gospel singer, in a press release. "When Barbra released her first Broadway album I was about 15 years old, and I thought, 'One day, I'm going to make my own Broadway album — just like Babs!'"

Available April 15, Billy's Back on Broadway, the stage veteran's debut on Concord Records, features 10 Broadway classics that "focus on inspiration, empowerment, and hope." Highlights include "I've Gotta Be Me" from Golden Rainbow, "Everything’s Coming Up Roses" from Gypsy, and "I Am Changing" from Dreamgirls.

Cyndi Lauper, who wrote the Tony-winning Kinky Boots score, joins Porter on "Happy Days/Get Happy," a duet made famous by Streisand and Judy Garland. 

"Cyndi is one of the godmothers of individuality," the Broken Hearts Club star continues. "She forged a path for so many of us that didn't fit into the status quo. I learned so much and have felt so inspired by her journey as an artist and human being before I even knew her. She's a blessing and a gift, and I'm so thrilled she said 'yes' when I asked her to sing on this album."

Porter is still appearing in Kinky Boots at the Al Hirschfeld Theatre. For tickets and more information, visit the show's website.

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