Amanda Lepore

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Amanda Lepore
Life Ball 2014 red carpet 075 Amanda Lepore.jpg
Lepore at the Life Ball in Vienna, Austria, May 2014.
Born Armand Lepore
(1967-12-05) December 5, 1967 (age 49)
Cedar Grove, New Jersey, United States
Occupation
  • Model
  • socialite
  • singer
  • performance artist
Years active 1989–present
Website amandalepore.net
Modeling information
Height 5 ft 2 in (1.57 m)
Hair color Platinum blonde
Eye color Brown

Amanda Lepore (born December 5, 1967) is an American model, celebutante, singer, and performance artist. The former Club Kid[1] has appeared in advertising for numerous companies. Lepore is also noted as a regular subject in photographer David LaChapelle's work, serving as his muse, as well as many other photographers, such as Terry Richardson. She participated in LaChapelle's Artists and Prostitutes 1985–2005 exhibit in New York, where she "lived" in a voyeuristic life-sized set.[2][3] Lepore has also released several singles, many written by and/or recorded with Cazwell. In 2011, she released her debut studio album, I...Amanda Lepore, on Peace Bisquit.

Early life[edit]

Amanda, born Armand Lepore, grew up in the Essex County community of Cedar Grove, New Jersey.[4][5] Her father was an Italian-American chemical engineer, and her mother was a German-American housewife who had schizophrenia and spent much time in mental institutions.[6][7] She has one sibling, an elder brother.

Lepore later wrote: "Ever since I can first remember, I knew I was a girl. I couldn't understand why my parents were dressing me up in boys clothing. I thought they were insane."[7] In her early teens she began making costumes for a transgender friend in exchange for female hormones.[8] She was already isolated from her peers, and her parents soon withdrew her from public school and hired a private tutor, then took her to a psychologist who helped her obtain a prescription to begin Hormone Replacement Therapy.[9]

At the age of 17, and through a legal loophole, Lepore married a male bookstore owner and was granted sex reassignment surgery,[9][10] which procedure she underwent surgery at the age of 19, in Yonkers, New York.[10] Lepore later left her husband and, in 1989, relocated to New York City.

In the early 1990s, as she established her career as a nightlife figure (including "membership" in the Club Kids), Lepore spent her days working in a nail salon, as a dominatrix,[9] and later as a cosmetics salesgirl for Patricia Field. After meeting David LaChapelle one evening while hosting at Bowery Bar, she began collaborating with him and ultimately achieved international acclaim as his muse.[9]

Modeling and acting[edit]

Lepore has appeared in fashion magazines, including French Playboy, Ponytail, DAMn and TUSH. She is on the cover of Lords of Acid's 1999 album Expand Your Head and on Thighpaulsandra's 2006 album The Lepore Extrusion.

Because of her association with the Club Kids, Lepore had a cameo in the documentary Party Monster: The Shockumentary (1998) and the feature film Party Monster (2003). She can also be seen briefly in the fashion spoof comedy Zoolander (2001), and was featured in the documentary Dig! (2004) and in Another Gay Sequel (2008). Lepore will be featured in José André Sibaja's upcoming film The Zanctuary.

Lepore has also had cameos in music videos for artists including Elton John, Thalía, The Dandy Warhols, Girl in a Coma,[11] Grace Jones, Keanan Duffty, TIGA (for his cover of "Sunglasses at Night), and the alt rock band The Drumms (for "Days").[12] Lepore appears in many of Cazwell's music videos, including "Watch my Mouth"[13] and "All Over Your Face".[14]

She was Chief of Parade at the 2010 Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras.[8]

Music[edit]

Her first single, "Deeper," is a 2003 trance dance song written by Wigstock drag queen Lady Bunny.[15]

In 2005, Lepore released her first album, Introducing... Amanda Lepore, which contains "Champagne" and "My Hair Looks Fierce". In 2007, she released two remix albums, Fierce Pussy and My Pussy E.P. Lepore also sings the main title for Another Gay Movie, "I Know What Boys Like". She also performs "Cotton Candy", from the soundtrack of Another Gay Sequel.[16]

Lepore was a part of True Colors Tour 2007, a 15-city North American benefit tour sponsored by the Logo channel, hosted by comedian Margaret Cho and headlined by Cyndi Lauper.[17] The tour benefited the Human Rights Campaign, PFLAG and the Matthew Shepard Foundation, and it included Erasure, Debbie Harry, The Gossip, Rufus Wainwright, The Dresden Dolls, The MisShapes, Rosie O'Donnell, Indigo Girls, The Cliks and other special guests. In 2009, Lepore performed at the Majestic Theatre during Metro Pride Fest in Detroit with The Divas of the Majestic: A Divine Lites Productions and Founder, Electra Lites.[18] In June 2011 she debuted her album I...Amanda Lepore at the Highline Ballroom with Cazwell, Kat Deluna, Neon Hitch, Ana Matronic, Jonté and many others.

Her debut full-length album I...Amanda Lepore was released in 2011 on Peace Bisquit.[19]

In 2014, Lepore was featured on drag performer Sharon Needles' single, "I Wish I Were Amanda Lepore", and she guest starred in the music video for the track, depicting Needles as a fan obsessed with getting plastic surgery to look like her.

Merchandise[edit]

In October 1999, Swatch released "Time Tranny", a watch designed by LaChapelle with Lepore on the face, which displays a printed crack on the glass and marble stripes as the background. A second version displays no cracked glass and a blue and yellow striped background.[20]

In April 2006, Integrity Toys launched an Amanda Lepore doll produced by Jason Wu as a benefit for AIDS charities.[21]

Lepore has a line of cosmetics in partnership with CAMP Cosmetics, called "Collection Lepore", as well as a signature perfume.[22]

Discography[edit]

Studio albums
List of studio albums, with selected chart positions, sales figures, and certifications
Title Album details Certifications
I...Amanda Lepore
EPs
Year Album
2005 Introducing... Amanda Lepore
2007 My Pussy
2008 Fierce Pussy (The Remix Album)
2010 Cazwell and Amanda
Singles
Year Title Album
2006 "I Know What Boys Like" Another Gay Movie Soundtrack
2009 "Cotton Candy" I...Amanda Lepore
"My Hair Looks Fierce"
Music videos
Year Title Director
2009 "Cotton Candy"[23] Bec Stupak
2010 "Marilyn"[24] Leo Herrera
2011 "Turn Me Over" Marco Ovando
2010 "Get Into It" Cazwell feat. Amanda Lepore Marco Ovando
2011 "Doin It My Way" Marco Ovando
2012 "Doin It My Way" Remix Sid Licious

References[edit]

  1. ^ Graymay, Kevin (May 14, 2014). "After Prison, No After-Hours: Michael Alig, the Former King of the Club Kids, After Prison". The New York Times. 
  2. ^ LaChapelle, David, (2005). Artists And Prostitutes Taschen America Llc, ISBN 978-3-8228-1617-2
  3. ^ Williford, Daniel (2009). Queer Aesthetics. Borderlands, Vol. 8. No.2.
  4. ^ Peden, Lauren David. "Shopping with...Amanda Lepore", Dominican Today, September 28, 2005. Accessed July 6, 2011. "But that's what makes Amanda (nee Armand) Lepore from Cedar Grove, New Jersey so great. The boy who grew up to be a Vargas pinup girl may be all manufactured artifice on the outside – huge blond hair, huge red lips, huge gravity-defying boobs."
  5. ^ Musto, Michael (March 11, 2008). Christian From Project Runway Has a Boyfriend! Village Voice
  6. ^ Ian Phillips, "How Do I Look? ; Transsexual, Muse, Naked Party Animal, Amanda Lepore Walks on the Wild Side", The Independent, 27 October 2001
  7. ^ a b Lepore, Amanda. "The Amanda Lepore Story". buzznet.com. Retrieved June 2, 2014. 
  8. ^ a b Olding, Rachel (February 27, 2010) Fantastic plastic. Sydney Morning Herald
  9. ^ a b c d "Amanda's Story on amandaleporeonline.com". Archived from the original on 2008-11-03. Retrieved 2008-01-21. 
  10. ^ a b Musto, Michael (March 16, 1999). "NY Mirror". villagevoice.com. Retrieved June 2, 2014. 
  11. ^ Road to Home (music video) on YouTube
  12. ^ Sunglasses at Night (music video) on YouTube
  13. ^ Watch my Mouth (music video) on YouTube
  14. ^ All Over Your Face (music video) on YouTube
  15. ^ Page Six (July 10, 2003). How Lopez lost Vogue cover. New York Post
  16. ^ Monroe, Kennidi (December 22, 2008). Interview: Season Finale, with Amanda Lepore. TrannyTalk 101
  17. ^ Chinen, Nate (June 20, 2007). Power to the People (and Some Pop Too). New York Times
  18. ^ Staff report (July 16, 2009). Electra Lites to leave Detroit. PrideSource
  19. ^ Visco, Gerry (June 29, 2011). Bash Compactor: Golden Girl. New York Press
  20. ^ Clark, Hazel; Brody, David (2009). Design Studies: A Reader, p. 493. Berg, ISBN 978-1-84788-236-3
  21. ^ Lopez, Vincent (May 9, 2006). Toys, p. 64. The Advocate
  22. ^ Iannacci, Elio (March 17, 2011). The new transsexual chic. Macleans
  23. ^ "Cotton Candy" (music video) on YouTube
  24. ^ "Marilyn" (music video) on YouTube

External links[edit]