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05/06/2020 07:26 BST | Updated 05/06/2020 07:26 BST

My Pride Anthems: Craig Revel Horwood

The Strictly Come Dancing star talks us through classics from Donna Summer, Christina Aguilera and Destiny's Child.

HuffPost UK

The coronavirus pandemic has changed everything, and that includes how we’re all celebrating Pride in 2020.

With huge public gatherings out of the question, we’re asking a range of LGBTQ celebrities and allies for their personal Pride anthems, to help us all get into the Pride spirit from lockdown.

Strictly Come Dancing judge Craig Revel Horwood is the latest star to take us on a trip down memory lane with a handful of his Pride must-listens.

Craig admitted to us fairly early on that he’d had a hard time narrowing his songs down (“I wrote a list, and then I kept thinking of new ones,” he joked. “And I’ve ended up with about 16 or 17)”, so before we get into his choices, we have to give a special mention to the songs that didn’t quite make the cut.

Dave J Hogan via Getty Images

Among them were Holding Out For A Hero (“I can’t leave Bonnie Tyler out, darling”), The Human League’s Don’t You Want Me (“that was the first time I thought I could dance, and that I was absolutely fantastic”), No More Tears (Enough Is Enough) (“Donna Summer and Babs!”) and Patti LuPone’s version of As If We Never Said Goodbye (“it’s just… gay”).

But here are the eight songs he did choose as his Pride Anthems...

Gloria Gaynor – I Will Survive

 

“Obviously I had to have I Will Survive. It’s a song that really made me get up and want to dance, and it’s about empowerment, I suppose.

“I think the title alone [makes it a Pride classic], and it’s disco. You can dance to it, and it means something. I think it resonates in people’s hearts and in their minds… and plus, it’s a really great tune to get up and dance to.”

Gloria Gaynor – I Am What I Am

 

“I knew the first version of that song because in 1985, I did a show called La Cage Aux Folles, and that was the Act One finale, and I just thought it was a really poignant song, beautifully-written.

“And then, of course, it was disco-ed up and made into a disco song, which sort of went around the world. It’s about being out and proud and saying ‘I am what I am’. The song has a great message, and it’s an emotional one for me because I was connected to the show too.

“We were playing drag queens, and all sorts of characters, and it was the first time I’d ever worked professionally in drag, and it always stands out in my mind.”

Destiny’s Child – Survivor

 

“I don’t know whether you were expecting me to say that, but I really love this song.

“I had quite a long relationship with an ex-partner, and when we split up after 12 years, this was the song that I was listening to on the treadmill at the gym. And it actually helped me become strong and get over myself and get over the relationship.

“It’s not a song that I would have thought [would be a Pride anthem], but it’s one that I couldn’t stop playing, I had it literally on repeat. And it’s a bit like I Will Survive – anthems, for me, should represent something emotional and something that puts you into gear, and something that can give you hope, knowing something’s happening to other people.”

Shirley Bassey – Get This Party Started

 

“I love that whole album, I love the fact that she does Grace Jones on it, I could just play that album over and over and over again. Plus I always use Get This Party Started as my firework anthem at New Year at my home, and I do that every year. Same tune.

“It’s great, it’s camp, we have it blaring, and then the fireworks kick off as the music kicks off.”

Donna Summer – MacArthur Park

 

“The reason I think I love this song so much is because obviously I was born in 1965, and I was a teenager when it came out. And there was a girl, a 12-year-old girl, when I was living in the town of Ballarat, she was from Australia, and she sang it, and no one could believe how amazing her voice was. And that girl... is Tina Arena.

“And of course, I know Tina, or ‘Tins’, so yeah, that affected me, because I saw her sing that when I was 14 or 15, and she was 12 on a show called Young Talent Time, and everyone just went ‘oh my god, that 12-year-old girl can really sing’. I mean, she was screeching it like Donna Summer, even better. It was amazing. So that always sticks in my mind.”

Alison Jiear – I Just Wanna Fucking Dance

 

“Ali Jiear sang that for me at my 50th birthday. That was the surprise, she got up on the balcony and sang it for me, and it was brilliant. It’s from Jerry Springer: The Opera, and she was the original girl in that, and then she released the song as a disco song. So that song has got to be one of my anthems.

“I know Ali really, really well, I used to give her piggy-back rides, and then she was whirling around as a pole-dancer for Jerry Springer: The Opera.

“And then having her sing it at my 50th birthday at Café De Paris, where I first went to Kinky Gerlinky, the first ever Vogue ball in London – in drag, naturally… I just absolutely loved it. Camp, it was. It’s such a great track.”

Christina Aguilera – Beautiful 

 

“What I love is what this song represents, that you can be beautiful no matter who you are, no matter what people say about you. And I think that sends a really fantastic message. And the music video was absolutely fantastic, and such an incredible story, something that you can get behind emotionally, which is fabulous.”

Irene Cara – Flashdance (What A Feeling!)

 

“I can’t escape, of course, without Irene Cara, because that is the song that made me want to be a professional dancer. Especially seeing the movie Flashdance.

“That song makes me feel like I’m 17 again, and I’m doing fouetté turns in class and I’ve got something to look forward to, I’m going to be amazing, I’m going to be a professional dancer, I love what I do.”

We’ll be adding each celebrity’s song choices to our bumper My Pride Anthems playlist each day. Take a listen below: