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RuPaul, Other Stars Mourn Pioneering Gay Musician Ari Gold

Ari Gold

The DJ and artist was a much-loved figure in the dance and drag communities.

Out dance music artist Ari Gold succumbed to his years-long battle with cancer, his friend and collaborator RuPaul announced on Twitter this weekend. Gold was 47.

Ru tweeted several times about his friend -- also known by the moniker Sir Ari and for the dance collective GoldNation -- before sending the following message on Valentine's Day:

Gold released seven albums throughout his musical career and landed a hit on the dance charts in 2007 with the track "Where the Music Takes You." Gold's video for his 2004 song "Wave for You" was the first video by an out artist to air on Logo, according to the LGBTQ+ network.

As a DJ and artist, Gold worked with superstars like Cyndi Lauper and Diana Ross; he also appeared in RuPaul's pre-Drag Race comedy film Starbooty, calling Ru a "mentor." Gold also wrote songs for musician and drag legend Kevin Aviance and modeled for Boy George's clothing line.

Many on Twitter described Gold as a trailblazer, who proudly used male pronouns in his songs, featured gay affection in his videos, and wore his queerness openly and comfortably. Raised in New York to Orthodox Jewish parents, Gold was also a prominent Jewish queer figure in the 2000s.

Gold was diagnosed with blood cancer in 2013, requiring a bone marrow transplant that, for a time, rendered him cancer-free. The musician spoke with LGBTQ+ icons like Ru and Laverne Cox on his podcast, A Kiki From the Cancer Ward. "I'll save you from the platitudes about how precious life is, but I really do try to live each day as if it's my last," Gold told Logo in 2018.

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