A former disco star whose Motown rendition of the club hit I Was Born This Way inspired Lady Gaga’s similarly-titled song has died in Los Angeles aged 77.
Archbishop Carl Bean’s death was announced by the governing body of the Unity Fellowship Church, a protestant denomination he founded in 1982 to minister to African Americans who identify as LGBTQ in Los Angeles.
In the message announcing his death, the Unity Fellowship Church said Bean ‘made transition into eternal life earlier today, after a lengthy illness’ though further details about his cause of death have not been shared.
Before heading the church, Bean released a version of the song I Was Born This Way with Motown Records in 1977. The disco song, written by Chris Spierer and Bunny Jones, became an anthem for gay pride.
The song served as the foundation for Lady Gaga’s hit Born This Way, and the pop singer has previously praised Bean for his ‘relentless love.’
‘Born This Way, my song and album, were inspired by Carl Bean, a gay black religious activist who preached, sung and wrote about being ‘Born This Way.’ Notably his early work was in 1975, 11 years before I was born,’ Lady Gaga tweeted in May.
‘Thank you for decades of relentless love, bravery, and a reason to sing. So we can all feel joy, because we deserve joy. Because we deserve the right to inspire tolerance, acceptance, and freedom for all.’
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Source: Daily Mail