retro record

LISTEN: This industry-changing ’90s vogue duo had the world’s biggest superstar singing backup

New York-based dancers Jose Gutierez and Luis Comacho worked together inseparably for years: at balls, on stage, in music videos. The pair just had a little special something. This something shone through in their bumping 1993 house duet “Queen’s English”.

This duo’s track features what Billboard cites as Madonna‘s “only credited backing vocals”, ever. She’d contributed lines to a couple songs she’d written on throughout the ’80s, but Jose & Luis received public endorsement and collaboration with the singer in her career prime.

And they’d earned it, times over.

Jose & Luis, members of the ballroom House of Xtravaganza, both choreographed and performed in her “Vogue” music video. The video was not only one of the driving forces in introducing voguing into the mainstream, but a career peak for the singer.  The pair went on to feature prominently in her Blonde Ambition world tour, one of the highest grossing tours of the decade.

The track is a fun club moment, introducing the world to Jose and Luis (who both “come from downtown, get down, and know it” according to the song). It’s got just enough repetition to lose oneself in, and great character in its vocal diversity.

The song didn’t spin itself into music stardom, but these Xtravaganzas had already more than made their mark. Jose now serves as the overall father of the house, raising the next generation of vogue talent.

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