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Todrick Hall to black gay kids: “Keep dreaming and never let them tell you no”

From Straight Outta Oz

Name: Todrick Hall, 33

Who he is: Singer/Songwriter/YouTuber with 2.8 million subscribers.

Why He Matters: Hall he has emerged from the purgatory of American Idol to become a star YouTuber and Broadway performer whose credits include Chicago, The Color Purple, and Kinky Boots.

Why We’re Proud: Hall shows off his creative process in Behind the Curtain, the Netflix documentary tracing his concept album/musical Straight Out of Oz from development to staging. Along the way, the doc also showcases Hall’s complex relationship with his religious family, his struggles to write new music, and the challenges of growing up African-American and gay in Texas.

Related: Todrick Hall gets intimate in new “Behind the Curtain” documentary

Hall toured the nation from July to August 2017 playing sold-out shows. How many other pop singers have ever written songs about a first same-sex crush, coming out, confronting religious homophobia and random acts of violence–all on the same album–let alone to sold-out crowds? In Hall’s words, he developed the album to “be a role model or hopefully someone to pave the way for some young black kid looking at me, because there were no black gay role models on television my whole life growing up.”

#FBF 6 years ago today I was eliminated from American Idol. Some people actually told my family that Idol was my only shot. Since then I've been the face of Virgin America, done two more broadway shows, sold out my live concert internationally, choreographed for Beyonce, opened the Kid's choice awards, hosted the Grammy red carpet, performed at the Mtv movie awards and VMA's, executive produced and starred in my own self titled MTV show, set a Guiness world record, judged on my favorite show "Rupaul's Drag Race, won an ovation award, danced with Gwen Stefani on the Grammys, collected over 2 million subscribers on youtube and 320 million views, was named one of Forbes 30 under 30, oh yeah AND Taylor Swift is my voicemail greeting. Keep dreaming and never let them tell you no. You control your destiny child. Thank you to everyone who has believed in me and given me the opportunity to share my gifts, ps I'm just getting started.

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